Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Synodus lacertinus, Banded lizardfish, Calico lizardfish, Reef lizardfish, Sauro lizardfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

large eye
snout short
upper side 4-5 bars
lower side: 10-12 round blotches
D1 & C: bars
LL 59-63
A: 8-9, base < D base

Synodus lacertinus Gilbert, 1890

Calico lizardfish, Reef lizardfish, Banded lizardfish, Sauro lizardfish

Body moderately elongate, its depth 5.9-6.5 in SL; snout short, not protruding; eye large; lower jaw not ending in a fleshy knob; mouth large, slightly oblique, at front; many rows fine pointed teeth on jaws, tongue and (in 1 band) on side of roof of mouth; gill membrane under operculum with 15-18 rays; fins without spines; one dorsal fin in midbody, 11-12, with a small skin-flap fin behind it above anal fin, dorsal fin origin further from adipose fin than snout tip; anal fin 8-9 rays, its base shorter than base of dorsal fin; pelvics on abdomen behind pectoral base, with 8 rays, inner rays distinctly longer than outer rays; scales smooth; lateral-line scales 59-63; bases of rays of tail fin completely scaleless; lateral line straight, along entire body

Mottled brown to reddish on upper half, white below; back with about 8 brown or red saddle-like markings, these usually extending on to mid-side as irregular bars; lower side with 10-12 red to brown blotches; dorsal and tail fins with narrow dark bars.

Size: grows to 23.5 cm.

A common inhabitant of sand-rubble near reefs.

Depth: areas near reefs in 1-156 m.

Southern California and the lower 2/3 of the Gulf of California to central Chile, the Revillagigedos, Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 23.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 156