Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Rypticus nigripinnis, Blackfin soapfish, Twice-spotted soapfish

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body & fins: brown + dense small pale spots
juv: yellow D&A base; C - yellow stripes
snout short
chin - no fleshy tip
preopercle and lower jaw - 4 large pores

Rypticus nigripinnis Gill, 1861

Twice-spotted soapfish, Blackfin soapfish

Elongate, very compressed; forehead oblique; snout short (6% of SL); lower jaw  slightly projecting, without fleshy knob at front; juvenile and adult with four large, oval pores along preopercular margin and four pores on each side of ventral surface of lower jaw (except in specimens less than 65 mm SL posterior most pore may be divided into a few small pores); simple teeth in bands on jaws; gill rakers 7-10 (usually 8); 2 pairs of nostrils, anterior tubular; simple teeth in bands on jaws; 2-3 spines on preopercle; 3 spines on operculum; gill opening restricted above, most of upper part of operculum bound to body by skin; dorsal fin II (rarely III), 24-28 rays; anal fin without spines, 14-18 rays; pectoral rays 15-17; median fins thick, fleshy; rounded tail and pectoral fins; scales imbedded.

Head, body and fins brown; body and fins with numerous small cream spots and blotches, some with dark centers; small juveniles brown dorsally and yellowish white below; a pair of pale stripes behind eye, the lowermost extending to caudal fin base; dorsal and anal fins with prominent yellow stripes basally; tail fin dark,  with 2 yellow stripes that continue along top and bottom edges of tail base; larger juveniles and subadults usually have at least some of the pale blotches and spots with dark centers.

Size: to 35 cm.

Habitat: on reefs, also soft bottoms near beaches and estuaries.

Depth: 0-70 m.

Southern Baja to Gulf of California to Peru, Malpelo, the Revillagigedos and the Galapagos.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 35
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 70