Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Halieutichthys caribbaeus, Caribbean batfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

pectoral: dark blotch
C: 1-3 dark bars
back: no strong mesh pattern
no or few tubercles on tail base

Halieutichthys caribbaeus Garman, 1896

Caribbean batfish

Head and body very depressed, greatly expanded to form a circular disc; tail moderately long; mouth very small; cavity on snout for lure very small, blocked by puffy folds of membrane; lure a single central bulb; a cover over pupils; buckler at angle of operculum not larger than adjacent bucklers; gill openings small, behind upper base of pectoral fin; gill rakers in form of tiny pads of teeth set on low stalks; dorsal and anal fins small, at rear of body; base of pectoral fins broadly attached to tail base; pelvic fins not reduced in size; lateral line complete, plus a pair of lateral line organs on base of tail behind anus, no tubercles associated with lateral line; scales are large, irregular, pitted tubercles, no or few tubercles on tail base;  adults with no scales under body and large areas of top of body without scales.   

Pale grey, tubercles on body whitish; any network of dark reddish brown lines on the top of the body is fine; a large dark blotch on outer part of pectoral fin; tail fin with 1-3 dark bars.

Reaches   7.5 cm.

Lives on sand and mud bottoms.

Depth range: 70-275 m.

The northern Caribbean to the French Guyana

Note: This is probably a complex of  multiple, poorly known species.  

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends South of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 7.5
Depth Range Min
  • 70
Depth Range Max
  • 275