IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: tonguefish (English), lengua (Espanol), lengüeta (Espanol)
Symphurus atricaudus (Jordan & Gilbert, 1880)

California tonguefish

Body highly compressed,  elongate, oval, tapers to pointed tail; small close-set eyes on left side, with well developed covers on pupils; 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 94-102; anal rays 77-83;  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 12 rays; no lateral line; scales rough, on both sides of body; rays of dorsal and anal ~ entirely with rough scales on blind-side; scales in longitudinal series 97-100.

Pale brown with ~ 9 incomplete diffuse dark cross-bars, best developed at sides of body; dorsal and anal pale at front, gradually shading to very dark at rear; inside operculum and lining of gut cavity without pigment.

        Size: 21 cm.

Habitat: sand and mud bottoms.

        Depth: 3-305 m.

        California to southern Baja and the SW and E Gulf of California.   


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© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system. www.stri.org/sftep

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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