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Species: Opistognathus panamaensis, Panamanian jawfish

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yellow + rows blue spots & lines
gill rakers 37
pectoral: 20
roof mouth: 1-4 teeth

Opistognathus panamaensis Allen & Robertson, 1991

Panamanian Jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head; eye large, high; no cirrus at front nostril; rear end of top jaw straight, without rear fringe; upper jaw 51-53% of head length, same size in both sexes; lips with papillae inside; center of roof of mouth with 1-4 teeth; gill rakers 37; no broad flap below operculum; dorsal rays XI, 13-14; anal rays II, 13-14; pectoral rays 20; tail rounded, much shorter than head; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales small, smooth, none on head, 76-78 oblique scale rows.

Very similar in coloration and habits to O. rosenblatti; body and dorsal and caudal fins generally bright yellow, with rows of blue spots on body, which, on rear of body, may coalesce to form stripes; no obvious color pattern inside mouth.

Size: reaches about 10 cm.

Inhabits burrows in sand-rubble areas.

Depth: 5-25 m.

Costa Rica to Colombia, Isla del Coco and Malpelo.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Planktivore
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Brooded
  • Pelagic larva
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)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 10
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 25