Fore-Spotted Brotula
Lengua Pintada
(Brotula ordwayi)

Fore-Spotted Brotula, Brotula ordwayi: The Fore-Spotted Brotula has a light brown body that is deep, compressed, and tapers to the rear. It has big eyes, a small mouth, and a pointed tail that is continuous with the anal and dorsal fins.

The head and first half of the body are covered with small black spots. The neck is pale with no black spots present. The anal and dorsal fins are dusky black with white margins.

The Fore-Spotted Brotula has six barbells on top of the mouth, six under the mouth, and two thread-like pelvic fins, each with two rays, under the gill cavity.

The dorsal fin originates before the anal fin.

This fish species reaches a maximum length of 30 inches. It is found between 10 and 300 feet deep in the water column in rocky reefs.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexico fishing waters , the previously known range of the Fore-Spotted Brotula is from Acapulco, south along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala. Therefore, the collection shown below is a significant range extension for this species.

The Fore-Spotted Brotula feeds on polychaete worms, small crustaceans, small clams and other invertebrates. It is seldom seen by humans. It is not readily confused with any other fish species due to its spotting pattern.

The Fore-Spotted Brotula is a member of the Ophidiidae Family which are known in Mexico as Brótulas Vivíparas. They are long slender fishes with a long dorsal fin that is normally continuous with the anal and dorsal fins. They have small eyes, no fin spines, and very small pelvic fins inserted under the eyes or the gills. They bear their young alive.

The family has 96 species from 33 genera which are found in all types of marine habitats. These reef fish species live deep in cracks and crevices. A total of seven members of the family live in Mexican waters.

Fore-Spotted Brotula picture

Fore-Spotted Brotula picture

Fore-Spotted Brotula, Brotula ordwayi: Courtesy of the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area of Baja California Sur, Mexico, in July 2011. Size 43 cm (17 inches). Photos courtesy of John Snow.

Fore-Spotted Brotula fish picture 1

Fore-Spotted Brotula fish picture 2

Fore-Spotted Brotula, Brotula ordwayi: Photo courtesy of John Snow.

Fore-Spotted Brotula fish picture 3

Fore-Spotted Brotula fish picture 4

Fore-Spotted Brotula, Brotula ordwayi: Caught during fishing by commercial fishermen in the greater Los Cabos area of Baja California Sur, Mexico, in September 2009. Size 43 cm (17 inches). Identification courtesy of Robert N. Lea. Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.

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