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IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: tonguefish (English), lengua (Espanol), lengüeta (Espanol)
Symphurus atramentatus Jordan & Bollman, 1890

Ink-spot tonguefish,     Half-spot tonguefish,     Spot-fin tonguefish

Body highly compressed,  elongate, oval, tapers to pointed tail; small close-set eyes on left side, with well developed cover over 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 88-98; anal rays 75-82;  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 102-109.

Tan to dark brown, with 7-10 cross bars, sometimes complete or with the two halves of the first bar offset; dorsal and anal fins with 2-8 oval black blotches, those at rear of fins particularly intense; lining of gut cavity unpigmented; no dark blotch on operculum.

Size: grows to at least 14.4 cm.

Inhabits flat sand bottoms.

Depth: 1-120 m.

Baja and the Gulf of California to Peru; the Revillagigedos, Cocos and the Galapagos.   


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system.

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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