IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: tonguefish (English), lengua (Espanol), lengüeta (Espanol)
Symphurus melanurus Clark, 1936

Drab tonguefish,     Plain tonguefish

Body highly compressed, elongate, oval, tapers to pointed tail; small close-set eyes on left side, pupils with well developed covers; snout rounded; mouth small, curved, strongly so on blind side, lower jaw of eye side with fleshy crest; margin of preoperculum concealed by skin and scales; dorsal origin ~ above upper eye; dorsal rays 96-104; anal rays 79-87; 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;  dorsal and anal rays on blind side with < 3 rough scales along base; scales in longitudinal series 88-91.

Light yellow-brown, with dense irregular pale spots; dorsal and anal fins grey with clear blotches; blind side yellow to cream; lining of gut cavity not pigmented.

Size: grows to about 19 cm.

Inhabits soft sand or silt-mud bottoms.

Depth: 1-35 m.

Southern Baja and the lower Gulf of California to northern Peru.


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

© 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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