Variegated Lizardfish, Synodus variegatus Click to enlarge image
A Variegated Lizardfish at Montague Island, New South Wales. Image: Andrew Green
© Andrew Green

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    variegatus
    Genus
    Synodus
    Family
    Synodontidae
    Order
    Aulopiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to at least 28 cm in length.

Introduction

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.

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.

Habitat

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

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.



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.