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/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

Lizardfishes, Family Synodontidae

By Bob Fenner

  Synodus variegatus  

     Take a look at the heads of these fishes and what do you think? Big mouths, numerous teeth... But wait until you see their almost sneaky means of waiting, pouncing on prey...  able to dive quickly below sand... Now what would you call these fishes? Lizards! Single dorsal fin, forked tails...

Genus Saurida:

Saurida flamma Waples 1982, the Orangemouth Lizardfish. To 13 inches. Hawai'i, Australs and Pitcairn Island. Hawai'i pix taken at night off of Kailua showing the orangish lower jaw. 

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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.


Genus Synodus:

Synodus binotatus Schultz 1953, the Twospot Lizardfish. Dual small black spots on the snout. To about 7 inches/18 cm. Indo-Pacific. Here in HI.


Synodus dermatogenys Fowler 1912, the Clearfin Lizardfish. To 23 cm.. Indo-Pacific. Typically found on the sand. Kona 2014

Synodus intermedius (Spix & Agassiz 1829), the Sand Diver. To 46 cm., 1 kg maximum. Western Atlantic. Most common lizardfish there. Typically found on the sand, near boulders. Note dark spot on gill operculum for TWA ID. One in Cancun, Mexico, and a profile of one off Bonaire.

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Synodus jaculum Russell & Cressey 1979, Lighthouse Lizardfish. Indo-Pacific; East Africa to Marquesas, Micronesia, Australia. To eight inches in length. Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, Polynesia photo. 

Synodus lacertinus Gilbert 1890, the Reef Lizardfish. Sea of Cortez to Peru, on rubble bottoms. To 16 cm. Costa Rica (Pacific side) 2011 


Synodus rubromarginatus, Maldives

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Synodus saurus, Florida

 


Synodus synodus, the Red Lizardfish. Small black spot on "nose", bright red bars across body. Trop. W. Atl. This one in Roatan 2016

Synodus ulae Schultz 1953, the Ulae (Lizardfish in Hawaiian). Identified by its eight darkish circles against a whitish body, blotches on head. To thirteen inches. Hawai'i and Japan. Common in sandy areas. Hawai'i photo.

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Synodus variegatus (Lacepede 1803), the Reef Lizardfish. Most common species (out of seventeen) in Hawai'i. To more than ten inches in length. Indo-Pacific. Kailua-Kona, HI and Fiji images at right; Heron (GBR), Maldives and Red Sea images below. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/
Country/Country SpeciesSummary.cfm?Country=Indonesia&Genus=
Synodus&Species=variegatus

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.


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