| Common names: tonguefish (English), lengua (Espanol), lengüeta (Espanol) |
Symphurus varius Garman, 1899
Mottled tonguefish, Freckled tonguefish
Body highly compressed, elongate, oval, tapers to pointed tail; small close-set eyes on left side, pupils without covers; snout rounded; mouth small, curved, strongly so on blind side; margin of preoperculum concealed by skin and scales; dorsal origin ~ above upper eye; dorsal rays 90-97; anal rays 77-81; dorsal and anal fins confluent with the pointed tail fin; only left pelvic fin present, 4 rays, on body midline, joined to anal fin by delicate membrane; pectoral fins absent, represented by a fine membrane; tail with 12 rays; no lateral line; scales rough, on both sides of body; scales in longitudinal series 120-124.
Top side yellowish to pale brown; series of dark blotches scattered over body; front half of body with dark dot at base of each dorsal and anal fin ray; rear 2/3 of dorsal and all anal with dark blotches on fin bases; tail base dark, outer part clear; blind side with scattered dots, most concentrated along dorsal and anal bases; usually no dark blotch behind opercle.
Size: 12 cm.
Habitat: rubble and shell bottoms.
Depth: 20-280 m.
Costa Rica to Panama; Cocos, Malpelo and the Galapagos.