Opistognathus variabilis Smith-Vaniz, 2009
Variable jawfish
photo by Ryanskiy, A.

Family:  Opistognathidae (Jawfishes)
Max. size:  9.62 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  pelagic-neritic; depth range 0 - 37 m
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: from the eastern Indian Ocean (Maldive Islands and Sri Lanka) and throughout most of the central western Pacific, including the Ruykyu Islands and Palau.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-16; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 14-16; Vertebrae: 28-30. This species is distinguished by the following characters: elongate supramaxilla and posterior end of maxilla produced as a thin flexible lamina, varying from moderate to well-developed; usually a single black stripe (well-developed in fish with elongate jaws but only slightly in those with relatively short jaws) at the inner lining of upper jaw and adjacent membranes; lateral-line ends below verticals between segmented dorsal-fin rays 3-6 (typically fourth or fifth); body with about 68-83 oblique scale rows; caudal vertebrae 19-20 (rarely 20), except only 18 in fish from northern Palawan. There are several color morphs that exist (geographic variations) (Ref. 81517).
Biology:  Found in sand/rubble bottoms in 0-37 m (Ref 90102).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 05 March 2015 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 02.08.10
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 21.03.13

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