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Species: Opistognathus smithvanizi, Eye-spot jawfish

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behind eye: upper & lower spots
body & D: 5 bars
D: 16-17
D y C: lines white dots
inside mouth - black & white
top of opercle: no flap

Opistognathus smithvanizi Bussing & Lavenberg, 2003

Eye-spot jawfish

Body robust, compressed; head short, with blunt snout that projects only a little beyond eye; eye large; nape profile convex; skin on head rough, especially on snout; front nostril with a long, club-shaped cirrus; top margin of operculum straight, without a conspicuous flap; top jaw reaches well behind eye, sexually dimorphic, with rounded with concave rear edge in female, and a long curved, pointed extension in male; 1 tooth at front of roof of mouth in male, none in female; spaces between rows of teeth with large papillae; 33-36 gill rakers; dorsal fin X-XI, 16-17, fin height increasing towards rear; anal III, 16; tail fin rounded; head and body before base of pectoral fin scaleless, scaly thereafter, 81-94 oblique scale rows; lateral line on front half of body only, ending under second soft ray of dorsal fin, 52-62 pores.

Head and body tan; top of head with brown network or spotting; 4 thin dark bars with pale centers radiating forward (to nostrils) and down from eye; a black blotch at lower edge of eye and another at rear edge of eye; a diffuse dark bar across chin continues back along lower jaw;  5 wide irregular dark brown bars that contain small dark spots on body extend onto dorsal fin; front of dorsal fin with a vague dusky blotch between spines IV-VII, oblique lines of white spots; tail fin blackish, with rows of white spots and white bar at base; anal fin blackish, with white spots; pelvics black;  top jaw with two inner dark stripes in male; inside mouth with a contrasting black and white color pattern that includes a black blotch on each side of opening to gut.

Size: 7.6 cm.

Habitat: burrows in sand and rubble.

Depth: 9-20m.

Isla del Caño, Costa Rica, to western Panama.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Brooded
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Panamic province endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 9
Depth Range Max
  • 20
Length Max
  • 7.6