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Species: Symphurus stigmosus, Blotchfin Tonguefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D&A: basal 1/3 dark, + 4-6 large dark blotches
C clear
eyes large, round, contiguous, pupil no cover
D 89-95; A 78-81; C 12
lateral scales 98-100

Symphurus stigmosus Munroe, 1998

Blotchfin Tonguefish

Body highly compressed, elongate, relatively deep, deepest in anterior 1/3, tapers rapidly behind midpoint to pointed tail; head short, wide, shorter than wide; snout moderately short, rounded; small close-set eyes on left side; eyes large, round, contiguous, about same position; no cover for pupils; snout rounded; mouth small, curved, strongly so on blind side, reaches under just before 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 93 (89-95) rays, its origin over front edge of top eye; anal fin 80 (78-81) 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 12 (11-12) rays; scales rough, on both sides of body; 98-100 lateral scales; eyes with 3-5 rows of scales on front half; blind side rays of dorsal and anal without scales; no lateral line.

Upper body uniform light brown; peritoneum black, visible through body wall on both sides; lower side pale; dorsal and anal fins with a dark brown stripe along entire basal 1/3 of fin, rear 2/3 of dorsal fin and rear ½ of anal fin with series of 5 (4-6) square dark blotches that are slightly smaller than pale interspaces, rear blotches larger; tail fin uniform clear.

Size: 13 cm.

Habitat: mud bottoms

Depth: 192-373 m.

The Bahamas to the central Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 192
Depth Range Max
  • 373