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Species: Synodus lucioceps, California lizardfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout long, pointed
back mottled brown, row 8 blotches midside
pelvic yellowish
LL to D: 7 rows scales
pectoral passes pelvic base
A 11-14, base = D base

Synodus lucioceps (Ayres, 1855)

California lizardfish

Body relatively robust; head relatively wide (width 50-70% of its length) snout long, pointed; eye moderate; 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, 11-13, with a small skin-flap fin behind it above anal fin, dorsal fin origin ~ midway between adipose fin and snout tip; anal fin 11-14 rays, its base long, equal to base of dorsal fin; pectorals long, extend past base of pelvic fin; pelvics on abdomen behind pectoral base, with 8 rays, inner rays distinctly longer than outer rays; scales smooth; lateral-line scales 63-67, 7 scale rows between lateral line and base of dorsal fin; bases of rays of tail fin completely scaleless; lateral line straight, along entire body

Mottled brown, cream and grey above, with a row of ~ 8 irregular dark blotches along midflank, abruptly pale below; gill membranes and pelvics yellowish.

Size: 64 cm.

Habitat: demersal on mud or sand bottoms.

Depth: 1-230 m.

Temperate NE Pacific; Oregon to the Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • TEP non-endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continent
  • California province, primarily
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 64
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 230