Animal Species:Variegated Lizardfish, Synodus variegatus (Lacépède, 1803)

The Variegated Lizardfish has a red stripe along the sides of the body which runs through darker red blotches. The species is found widely throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Variegated Lizardfish at Agincourt Reef

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Variegated Lizardfish

Alternative Name/s

Engleman's Lizardfish, Reef Lizardfish, Scaly-cheek Lizardfish

Identification

The Variegated Lizardfish has a long, cylindrical body, a short-based first dorsal fin, a small adipose second dorsal fin and a deeply forked caudal fin. It has a large mouth with needle-like teeth. The species has a red stripe along the sides of the body which runs through darker red blotches. Below these are a series of white blotches.

Size range

The species grows to at least 28 cm in length.

Distribution

The species is found widely throughout the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is recorded from the coast of north-western Western Australia around the north of the country and south to the central New South Wales coast.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Synodus variegatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Variegated Lizardfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It is a benthic predator that lives in a range of habitats from coral reefs to silty rubble areas.

Classification

Species:
variegatus
Genus:
Synodus
Family:
Synodontidae
Order:
Aulopiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. 1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  7. Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol.7 Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. Pp. i-xii, 1-665.
  8. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Variegated Lizardfish, Synodus variegatus, Synodontidae, Engleman's Lizardfish, Reef Lizardfish, Scaly-cheek Lizardfish, long body, cylindrical body, red stripe, blotches/mottled, 10 cm - 30 cm, marine, coral reef,