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Greater soapfish
Rypticus saponaceus
(Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Description:
Body elongated with a rounded dorsal fin. Color mottled, varying from drab reddish brown to gray, often with a green or blue cast. Pale spots, about the size of the pupil or smaller, on body and dorsal fin.
Size up to 35 cm.

Habitat:
A solitary species inhabiting shallow water on bottoms with mixed sand and rocks, as well as around reefs, down to 60 m. Often found lying motionless against rocks (). Secretes copious mucus which makes its surface slimy and when disturbed the slime turns into a soapy foam. The mucus has been shown to contain a toxic protein. Nocturnal.

Distribution:
Occasional Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Remarks:
Two other species of soapfish occur in the area. The Whitespotted soapfish (Rypticus maculatus) has random white spots on the body, often outlined in black, and the Spotted soapfish (Rypticus subbifrenatus) has black spots with paler borders.

Greater soapfish (Rypticus saponaceus)