Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gorgasia punctata, Dotted garden-eel, Peppered garden-eel

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mouth ends under eye
pale + dense dark dots
tail tip = hard finless point
upper lips not joined at front
front nostrils not in lips
pectoral > eye

Gorgasia punctata Meek & Hildebrand, 1923

Peppered garden-eel, Dotted garden-eel

Body very elongate, compressed; tail much longer than head and trunk; head short, snout very short;  mouth oblique, relatively long (reaches under front of eye), lower jaw distinctly projecting; teeth in narrow bands or single rows, usually a single row on the roof of the mouth an rear of both jaws; top lip flange only on sides of snout; front nostrils (tubular) at front of snout, before lip flanges; rear nostril a hole before eye; pectoral fins relatively large (~ eye size); dorsal and anal fins not confluent around tail; tip of tail a hard round point, without obvious tail fin; lateral line complete; head pores well developed, easily visible; lateral line pores well separated, fewer than number of vertebrae.

Generally pale tan to whitish with numerous brown spots that are larger and more evenly spaced than in Heteroconger pelligrini.

Size: grows to at least 50 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: 5-30 m?

Southern Baja to Colombia.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • 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
  • Planktivore
  • Zooplankton
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • 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
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 30