Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Symphurus nebulosus, Freckled Tonguefish, Nebulous Tonguefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate, width uniform
pupil no cover
D 105-113; A 91-98; C 14
color uniform; peritoneum black, visible
lateral scales 120-135
lower jaw no crest

Symphurus nebulosus (Goode & Bean, 1883)

Freckled Tonguefish, Nebulous Tonguefish

Narrower than body depth; snout moderately short, rounded; small close-set eyes on left side; lower eye small, about same position as upper eye; no cover for pupils; snout rounded; mouth small, curved, strongly so on blind side, reaches under front edge of pupil of lower eye; eye side lower jaw without fleshy crest; teeth well developed on both jaws, a complete row on top and bottom eye-side jaws; preopercle edge covered with skin; dorsal fin 105-113 rays, its origin ~over center of top eye; anal fin 91-98 rays; pectoral fins absent, represented by a fine membrane; only left pelvic fin present, 4 rays, on body midline, joined to anal fin by delicate membrane; dorsal and anal fins confluent with the pointed caudal fin; tail fin 14, rarely 13 rays; scales rough, on both sides of body; 120-135 lateral scales; eyes without scales on front half; blind side rays of dorsal and anal without scales; no lateral line.

Top side uniform pale to dark brown, with ~40-60 black lines along scale rows; peritoneum black, visible through body wall; blind side white, small fish with row of black dots along dorsal and anal fin bases; dorsal and anal fins uniform brown; tail fin brown, with clear tip.

Size: 9 cm.

Habitat: mud bottoms

Depth: 239-810 m.

New York to SE Florida.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
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
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 9
Depth Range Min
  • 239
Depth Range Max
  • 810