Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: batfish (English), pez-murciélago (Espanol)
 
Ogcocephalus darwini Hubbs, 1958


Galapagos batfish


Head depressed but elevated above disk; disc triangular; snout pointed, with a horn-like rostrum (short to very long) projecting well forward before eyes, horn with few short hairs; fish-lure with 3 fleshy points, in a small cavity under horn; spine at lower rear corner of operculum blunt or little developed; gill rakers are oval plates covered with small teeth; eyes on sides of head; gill opening high, above pectoral fin base; pectoral and pelvic fins limb-like, pectorals completely separated from body; skin covered dorsal fin on tail, small fleshy anal fin under tail; skin with few, small protruding bony plates; flank without fringe of hairs; underside of body completely covered with pointed, bony scales underside of tail densely covered with small prickles, with sometimes a few conical spines along midline.


Light brown to greyish on back, white below; a dark brown stripe (sometimes broken) from top of head to caudal fin base on each side; snout and horn brownish; lips bright red.


Grows to about 25 cm.

Inhabits sand and rubble bottoms.

Range is 5-120 m, but usually in 10-20 m.

Endemic to the Galapagos Islands
   
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Biology

Found on sandy bottoms and believed to be predatory, feeding on small invertebrates. Common below 10 m and seem to be incautious, unlike other batfishes which are limited in their range due to many predators.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is only known from the Galapagos Islands, although there is one record from Ecuador (Hubbs, 1958) and other questionable records from Ecuador and Peru (Bradbury et al, 1999).
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic

Regional Endemism: All species, TEP endemic, TEP oceanic island (s) endemic, Galapagos Islands endemic, Island (s), Island (s) only

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
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Southeast Pacific: Galapagos Islands south to Peru.
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Eastern Pacific.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 5 (S) - 120 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Vertebrae: 19 - 20
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Size

Length max (cm): 25.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 203 mm ---
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Max. size

20.3 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5590))
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Diagnostic Description

Squamation shagreenlike and relatively smooth; bucklers obscured by a covering of fine spinules. Has a shorter disk margin compared to porrectus but higher modal pectoral fin ray count, 15. Lateral line scale count: subopercular 4-9; cheek usually 8 (6-9). Vertebrae usually 19 (Ref. 40824).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits sand and rubble substrate and is associated with reef edges to depths of 120m.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 3 - 76 m (Ref. 5227)
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Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 11 - 986
  Temperature range (°C): 14.206 - 20.900
  Nitrate (umol/L): 8.108 - 27.458
  Salinity (PPS): 34.575 - 34.928
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.101 - 4.454
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.833 - 2.067
  Silicate (umol/l): 8.176 - 20.533

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 11 - 986

Temperature range (°C): 14.206 - 20.900

Nitrate (umol/L): 8.108 - 27.458

Salinity (PPS): 34.575 - 34.928

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.101 - 4.454

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.833 - 2.067

Silicate (umol/l): 8.176 - 20.533
 
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Depth: 3 - 76m.
From 3 to 76 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Found on sandy bottoms and believed to be predatory, feeding on small invertebrates. Common below 10 m and seem to be incautious, unlike other batfishes which are limited in their range due to many predators.
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Salinity: Marine, Marine Only

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Bottom, Bottom only

Habitat: Reef (rock &/or coral), Rocks, Reef and soft bottom, Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom), Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove), Sand & gravel

FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated
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Trophic Strategy

Feeding

Feeding Group: Carnivore

Diet: mobile benthic worms, mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs), mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Lea, B. & McCosker, J.

Reviewer/s
Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is endemic to the Galápagos Islands. Given its broad depth range and deep water habitat, there are no known major threats to this species and no current indication of population decline. It is listed as Least Concern.
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
This species is not uncommon in the Galapagos Islands.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this species. Even though this species is restricted to the Galapagos Islands, given its deep water habitat it is unlikely to be negatively impacted by oceanographic environmental changes from ENSO and climate change events.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known conservation measures for this species. However, this species distribution falls entirely within the Galapagos Islands Marine Protected Area (WDPA 2006).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Red-lipped batfish

The red-lipped batfish or Galapagos batfish (Ogcocephalus darwini) is a fish of unusual morphology found around the Galapagos Islands at depths of 30m or more. Red-lipped batfish are closely related to rosy-lipped batfish (Ogcocephalus porrectus), which are found near Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica. This fish is mainly known for its bright red lips.

Batfish are not good swimmers; they use their highly-adapted pectoral fins to "walk" on the ocean floor. When the batfish reaches maturity, its dorsal fin becomes a single spine-like projection (thought to function primarily as a lure for prey). Similar to the anglerfish, the Red-Lipped Batfish has a structure on its head known as illicium. This structure is employed for attracting prey.

Diet[edit]

The species is a piscivore / invertivore, mainly feeding on other small fish and small crustaceans like shrimps and mollusks [1]


Conservation Status[edit]

The Red-Lipped Batfish has no known threats.

References[edit]

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