- Photo. (c) 2022 BSS/MCSS.
Dorsal spines: 0; Dorsal rays: 10-14; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 8-10.
Elongate, cyclindrical body. Large individuals are often thick-bodied, giving a hump-backed appearance. Large mouth with needle-like teeth. Scale rows above
lateral line 5.5. Short-based first dorsal fin and a small adipose second dorsal fin. Caudal fin deeply forked.
Colour. Greyish to whitish base colour. Brown to reddish bars or saddles dorsally and on the upper flanks usually joining smaller blotches
along the side giving an hour-glass appearance. Whitish dashes along lower flanks. In some specimens flank markings may be obscured by an almost solid
dark red band.
Maturity: Lm 14.0 range ? - ? cm. Max length: 40.0 cm TL; common length: 30.0 cm TL.
Habitat and Ecology:
Benthic species inhabiting deep lagoon and seaward reefs (depth 3-121 m, usually 5-60 m). Prefers to perch on hard surfaces such as corals or rocks, but
sometimes found on sandy bottoms concealing itself in the sand. Frequently occurs in pairs. Feeds on small fishes and shrimps.
This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. Lizardfish are very rarely caught in the artisanal fishery.
Similar to the Twospot Lizardfish (Synodus binotatus) but has smaller scales 5.5 rows above the lateral line vs 3.5 in S. binotatus.
In addition, the scales of S. variegatus usually have a dark margin, giving a diamond or mosaic pattern.
S. binotatus also has a series of more rounded blotches along the side (vs. blotches more rectangular in shape in S. variegatus).
Photo courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.
Bray, D.J. (2021). Synodus variegatus in Fishes of Australia, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2780 (18/08/22).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2022). FishBase. https://www.fishbase.de/summary/Synodus-variegatus (17/08/22).
McGrouther, M. (2019). Variegated Lizardfish, Synodus variegatus. https://australian.museum/learn/animals/fishes/variegated-lizardfish-synodus-variegatus/ (17/08/22).
Russell, B. et al. (2016). Synodus variegatus. The IUCN Red List 2016: https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T67856085A67871730.en. (17/08/22).
Nevill, J.E.G., Brighton, E. & Mason-Parker, C. (2022). Synodus variegatus, Variegated lizardfish. Seychelles Seatizens. www.seatizens.sc. https://seatizens.sc/species/synodus-variegatus-lacepede-1803/