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Species: Opistognathus fenmutis, Sailfin jawfish

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dark + blue stripes (head - 2, body - 3)
D: high, sail-like

Opistognathus fenmutis Acero & Franke, 1993

Sailfin jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head, eye large, high; front nostril without cirrus; top margin of operculum straight, without flap at rear; mouth at front, large, extends well to rear of eye; top jaw long, reaches well behind eye, with fringe at rear, pointed tip in female, long blunt extension to belly in male; lips without inner papillae; a triangular patch of 9 teeth at front of roof of mouth; no papillae between tooth rows; 41-47 gill rakers; dorsal fin high and sail-like, middle of spiny part as high as body depth, XI,13; anal fin III, 13; pectoral 20-21; tail fin straight; head and body before base of pectoral fin scaleless, scaly thereafter; 102-105 oblique scale rows; lateral line on front half of body only, high, ends under 3rd  dorsal soft ray, 72-73 pores.

Dark grey body and all fins, a little lighter on belly;  no obvious color inside mouth; upper tail membranes pale; female paler than male; 3 violet-blue lines along side and another along back just under base of dorsal fin, all reaching to tail; head with 2 blue stripes on side, a blue blotch at top rear corner of operculum, a blue line along top jaw; tail fin with thin blue bar at base and blue lines on membranes between fin rays; pelvic with blue front border; anal fin with blue outer edge and blue on membranes between rays.

Size: 27 cm.

Habitat: burrows in sand and rubble.

Depth: 63-74 m.

Costa Rica to Colombia.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Brooded
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 27
Depth Range Min
  • 60
Depth Range Max
  • 75