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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Synodus saurus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: head short, contained 4-4 1/2 times in SL; upper surface strongly rugose. Inter-orbital space wide, 1 1/2 to 5 times in head length. Eye moderate in size, diameter 51/3 to 8 times in head length. Snout length equal to or slightly greater than eye diameter. 3 1/2 scales between lateral line and middle of dorsal fin base. Anal fin base short, 4/5-5/5 of dorsal fin base. Pectoral fin falling far short of level of dorsal fin insertion. Dorsal finrays 11-13; anal finrays 9-12; pelvic finrays 8; pectoral finrays 12-14, lateral line scales 54-60. Colour: young specimens with about eight dark saddles along the back between the occiput and the base of the caudal fin; larger individuals with an indistinct pattern of fine spotting and vermiculations; no spot at the tip of the snout. Size: to c. 43 cm in the eastern Atlantic, to c. 13 cm in the western Atlantic.

Habitat: mostly in waters around islands; recorded once from c. 400 m, commonly found at less than 20 m. Food: no data. Reproduction: postlarval stage has been figured (Anderson et al., 1966; Gibbs, 1959; Sanzo, 191 5).

Distribution: primarily insular in the eastern Atlantic (the Azores, the Canaries, Madeira, the Cape Verde Is.). Also known from continental shelf waters off Atlantic Morocco, and from both the eastern and western Mediterranean; wholly insular in the western Atlantic (Bermuda, Bahamas, Leeward Is.).

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Tåning, 1918: 3 | Tortonese, 1956: 890 | Mead, 1966, fig. 10 | Marinaro, 1971 :19, pl. 2, fig. 6.
Otoliths (sagitta). Bauzá-Rullán, 1957: 36, pl. 1 (fig. 11-15).

Atlantic lizardfish (Synodus saurus)