Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Anoptoplacus pygmaeus, Pigmy Jawfish, Pygmy Jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D black stripe along front
LL ends under D spines I-III
top lip dark
jaw teeth - 1 row, slender, straight
male A - black stripe along base
C oval, ~head

Anoptoplacus pygmaeus Smith-Vaniz, 2017

Pigmy Jawfish, Pygmy Jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head; front nostril a simple tube, without a cirrus; eye large, high, bones and lower rear part of eye plate-like, open at sides; mouth terminal, large, extends well to rear of eye; rear of top jaw bone straight, without notch or hook on underside at rear; jaws with a single row of straight, slender teeth; fin spines flexible; dorsal and anal fins with long bases; dorsal X-XI, 11, soft rays distinctly elongate; anal I, 9; pelvic fins I, 5, outer 2 rays stout and unbranched, inner 3 rays weaker and branched, fin base before the pectoral; tail oval, a little shorter than head, segmented rays 14, central 10 branched; lateral line on front of body only, high, reaches under dorsal spines I-III; scales small, smooth, none on head, nape, pectoral base and belly, body with 20-23 longitudinal scale rows.

Reaches 3.1 cm

Preserved fish: pale, top lip darkly pigmented; dorsal fin with a black stripe along front 1/4-1/3 of fin; male with a black stripe along base of anal fin.

Lives on soft bottom

Depth range 240-267 m

Known only from Arrowsmith Bank, off Caribbean Yucatan.

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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
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.1
Depth Range Min
  • 240
Depth Range Max
  • 267