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Sand diver
Synodus intermedius
(Spix & Agassiz, 1829)

Description:
Body elongated, brownish gray on the head and upper trunk. The belly is light. Upper end of the gill cover with a dark spot (S. intermedius head). Side of body with about eight reddish-brown cross-bands, widest at the lateral line and extending downward. Body with thin yellow-gold stripes (S. intermedius).
Size up to 46 cm.

Habitat:
Found on the sandy bottom around boulders or in sandy corridors patch reefs, most common between 7.5 and 25 m, but down to 320 m. Rest on or bury themselves in sand, sometimes with only the head visible. Also rest on reef tops.

Distribution:
Occasional Florida and Bahamas, common Caribbean.

Remarks:
The sand diver and Red lizardfish (Synodus synodus) are easily confused. Positive identification needs ray counts:
S. intermedius: with 10-12 anal soft rays;
S. synodus: with 8-10 anal soft rays.
The Bluestriped lizardfish (Synodes saurus) is rare in the area and have thin blue to turquoise stripes down the upper body.

Sand diver (Synodus intermedius)