Brosmophyciops pautzkei Schultz, 1960
Slimy cuskeel
Brosmophyciops pautzkei
photo by Winterbottom, R.

Family:  Bythitidae (Livebearing brotulas)
Max. size:  7.5 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 6 - 54 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to Samoa and the Austral Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Rowley Shoals. Recorded from the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Thailand (Ref. 34024).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 78-84; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 58-62. When alive, body coloration is brown with translucent orange fins and is covered in a thick granular mucus (Ref. 1602). Description: Characterized by caudal rays 10-12; without scales on head; cycloid and embedded body scales, about 100-106 in longitudinal series; greatest depth of body 19.7-20.7% SL; relatively large eye 5.3-5.7 % SL; maxillary extending beyond level of rear edge of eye (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Lives in the interstices of lagoon or seaward reefs (Ref. 1602). Benthic (Ref. 75154). Body covered with heavy coating of mucus (Ref. 1602).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 16 August 2019 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Machida and Yoshino (1984) first recorded this species from Japan (from two specimens collected in Okinawa). After noting the excess mucus of Ogasawara specimens of this species, Randall tasted it and found it very bitter, indicating the probable presence of a crinotoxin. Frozen specimens were sent to Hisao Kamiya of Kitasato University who noted that the mucus was no longer bitter, and he failed to detect a hemolysin. Further testing will have to be made on fresh specimens. BPBM 35083, 73 mm SL; BPBM 35275, 70 mm SL; NSMT-P 35486, 72 mm SL (Ref. 26066). Also Ref. 33390.


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