Species Details

Details of Variegated Lizardfish will be displayed below

Variegated Lizardf...   

Common Name: Variegated Lizardfish, Engleman's Lizardfish
Scientific Name: Synodus variegatus
Local Name: -
Dhivehi Name: -
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Teleostei  (Class)
Aulopiformes  (Order)
Synodontidae  (Family)
Synodus   (Genus)

Variegated Lizardfish's description

The variegated lizardfish (Synodus variegatus) is a lizardfish of the family Synodontidae found in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans, at depths from 4 to 90 m. It can reach a maximum length of 40 cm. The variegated lizardfish is rounded in cross-section with a broad, moderately flattened head and a large, wide mouth. The jaws protrude equally. Both jaws and all the mouth bones are covered with conical, barbed teeth. The strong, thick pelvic fins serve as props when the fish is resting on the bottom waiting for prey. The variegated lizardfish varies in color from grey to red, with hourglass-shaped markings.

Variegated Lizardfish's facts

  •  Synodus variegatus have evolved to secrete a mucus coating. The mucus offers some protection against parasites and also reduces drag as they swim.
  • eats an average of two fish per day

Variegated Lizardfish's Behavior & Ecology

Synodus variegatus is a benthic species found close to rock and on coral bottoms, usually to depths of about 30 m (Russell 1999). It can also be found in deep lagoons and seaward reefs (Lieske and Myers 1994).  It reaches a maximum size of 24 cm standard length (Russell 1999). Synodus variegatus is piscivorous, seizing small fish from passing schools, as well as shrimp (Bacchet et al. 2006).

Variegated Lizardfish's Feeding

Inhabits deep lagoon and seaward reefs to depths over 40 m ; sometimes found on sandy bottoms concealing itself in the sand. Prefers to rest on hard surfaces and frequently occurs in pairs . Benthic . Feeds on small fishes by seizing these from passing schools, also shrimps

Variegated Lizardfish's Reproduction

Little seems to be known of their mating habits. They are usually found in pairs but in spring seem to form aggregations of up to seven fish which may be breeding related. While in these aggregations they seem to have little interest in feeding.

Variegated Lizardfish's Conservation

There are no species specific conservation efforts in place for S. variegatus, however; the range of this species overlaps with a number of marine protected areas (IUCN and UNEP 2014), such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the Natural Park of the Coral Sea and the Madagascar marine protected area network.

Variegated Lizardfish's Relationship with Humans

This species occasionally appears in local fish markets (B. Russell pers. comm. 2015).

 Caught with various types of artisanal gear; sold fresh or dried salted in markets.

Variegated Lizardfish habitat

Synodus variegatus is a benthic species found close to rock and on coral bottoms, usually to depths of about 30 m (Russell 1999). It can also be found in deep lagoons and seaward reefs (Lieske and Myers 1994).  It reaches a maximum size of 24 cm standard length (Russell 1999). Synodus variegatus is piscivorous, seizing small fish from passing schools, as well as shrimp (Bacchet et al. 2006).

Variegated Lizardfish threats

There are no known major threats to this species.

Variegated Lizardfish's status