Dormitator lebretonis (Steindachner, 1870)
photo by JJPhoto

Family:  Eleotridae (Bully sleepers)
Max. size:  12.4 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; marine, amphidromous
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: Senegal (Ref. 57413, 81660) to the Kunene in Namibia (Ref. 33857, 57413).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 7-8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-9; Anal spines: 1-1; Anal soft rays: 9-10. Diagnosis: 14-24 predorsal scales, usually 19-22; cheek and opercle scaled (Ref. 81660). 28-33 scales in longitudinal series (including 2 or 3 scales on caudal fin base)(Ref. 57413). 8-12 scales in rearward transverse series (Ref. 57413, 81660). 1st dorsal fin: VI-VII; 2nd dorsal fin: I,7-9; anal fin: I,9-10; pectoral fins: 11-14 (Ref. 57413, 81660). Caudal fin rounded with 15 segmented rays, 13 of which are branched (Ref. 57413). Sensory canals absent on head (Ref. 57413), sensory papillae on cheek form horizontal rows (Ref. 81660). About 10 gill rakers on upper limb, and 20 on lower limb of first gill arch (Ref. 57413), 29-37 in total (Ref. 81660). Coloration: Preserved specimens: brownish (Ref. 57413, 81660) or tan (Ref. 81660) dorsally on head and body. Ventral surface of belly pale (Ref. 57413). Most mid-lateral scales with spots equal in depth to scales forming an interrupted band extending from pectoral fin base to caudal fin base (Ref. 81660). About 2 longitudinal bands sometimes present just dorsal to midline of scales (Ref. 57413). Dark brown or black spot just posterior and dorsal to operculum (Ref. 57413), above the pectoral fin base on side of nape extending onto upper pectoral fin base (Ref. 81660), sometimes a smaller spot below this (Ref. 57413). Dorsum with 7-8 irregular dark saddles, becoming lighter ventrally below the mid-lateral row of spots; thin infraorbital bar reaching from eye just behind angle of jaw to edge of gular fold; a pair of dark bands running posteriorly from lower half of eye to edge of preopercle (Ref. 81660). Vertical brown bar at base of caudal fin (Ref. 57413). First dorsal fin with 3-4 horizontal bands, second dorsal fin with 3-4 rows of interradial spots (Ref. 81660). Caudal fin with several vertical, crescentric bands of small spots (Ref. 57413, 81660). Anal fin light brown (Ref. 57413), with 3 discretely edged horizontal bands (Ref. 81660). Pelvics light brown with central rays sometimes darker (Ref. 57413), dark line crossing bases of rays (Ref. 81660). Pectorals transparent (Ref. 57413) or dusky (Ref. 81660). Live specimens: pale olive-green on back and white on belly; red-brown spots on 1st dorsal, 2nd dorsal and anal fins, latter 2 also with light yellow spots near distal margin; caudal fin with red-brown spots near base, and yellow or orange spots posteriorly (Ref. 57413).
Biology:  Inhabits brackish water estuaries, creeks, lagoons and mangrove areas; occasionally enters freshwater (Ref. 7391, 57413, 81660). Known to be tolerant of wide range of salinity. Used as bio-control agents, e.g., use in control of mosquito larva (Ref. 42628). Endemic to West African coastline from Senegal to the Cunene River in Namibia (Ref. 92840).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 07 April 2020 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless


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