Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Microdesmus dipus, Banded worm-goby, Scrawled worm-goby, Translucent worm-fish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye on side, not tiny
head mottled, irregular stripe along top back
flank to A origin: short bars
chin - knob
A 32-37
pectoral 11-13
scales 22 radiating lines

Microdesmus dipus Günther, 1864

Scrawled worm-goby, Translucent worm-fish, Banded worm-goby

Slender, wormlike, body height 7% of SL; tail (without fin) slightly < 50% of SL; eyes small but not tiny, not skin covered, on side of head; lower jaw strongly projecting, with small fleshy lump at chin; mouth small, lips thin, with small flanges at sides; teeth tiny, even, close-set, in 2 irregular rows; gill opening large (not tubular), length ~ equal to base of pectoral; dorsal fin spines evenly spaced, XVI-XVIII, 36-41, origin 1/3 of pectoral length behind pectoral; anal II, 32-37; pectoral 11-13 rays; pelvics I, 3, shorter than pectorals; tail fin rounded; dorsal and anal fins confluent with tail fin; scales small, non-overlapping, well separated; body and head scaled except for tip of lower jaws and tip of snout; a flat band of diverging scales along bases of dorsal and anal fins; scales with 22 radiating lines.

White to tan; dark blotches on top and sides of head; a row of irregular dark blotches scattered along entire base of dorsal fin, sometimes forming a dark stripe; row of short, irregular dark oblique bars along mid-flank to level of origin of anal fin, grading into irregular smaller blotches and spots behind; markings often variable in shape and distribution.

Size: 8.8 cm.

Habitat: intertidal rock pools.

Depth: 0-5 m.

SW and SE Gulf of California to Colombia, the Galapagos.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.8
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5