Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Lepophidium stigmatistium, Blotch-fin cusk-eel, Mexican cusk-eel

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body uniform
D: large black blotch at front, dark rear margin

Lepophidium stigmatistium (Gilbert, 1890)

Mexican cusk-eel, Blotch-fin cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like; head low, compressed; tail compressed, tapering to a point; snout spine prominent, reaching beyond tip of upper jaw; eye diameter ~ 23% of head length; mouth large, broad, nearly horizontal, top jaw ends behind eye; teeth on jaws small, simple, in bands; no patch of teeth at base of gill arches; gill rakers: 4 (3-6) rudiments above, 8 (7-10) developed rakers below + 5-9 rudiments, total 16-19; a rounded point at edge of operculum; dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail; dorsal fin origin over or behind middle of pectoral;dorsal rays 123-131; anal rays 103-109; pectoral rays 20-21 (19-24);  pectoral short, just reaching 1/2 way to anal fin, on midside; each pelvic a pair of small threads inserted under eye; scales round, small, in regular rows, on head extending to between or before eyes, on cheeks and opercle; ~ 210 lateral scales.
Body uniform olivaceous, lighter below; upper opercle dark (internal pigment): roof of mouth black, rest pale; gill chamber dark, except for gill arches; oesophagus black; dorsal clear, with large black spot at front (outer 4/5 of rays 4-14), broad dusky margin at rear; tail with middle rays black at base, rest of fin pale; anal with broad black margin at rear.
Size: 25.5 cm.
Habitat: demersal on soft bottoms.
Depth: 20-238m.
Southern Baja and the W and NE Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Cortez province endemic
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • 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
  • 25.5
Depth Range Min
  • 20
Depth Range Max
  • 238