Ariomma regulus

Common Name

Spotted Driftfish

Year Described

Poey, 1868


Dorsal Fin: XI, I, 15 rays
Anal Fin: III, 15 rays
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 23
Gill Rakers: 23
Vertebrae: 31
Lateral Line Scales: 50-60

Body deep and compressed in cross-section (the only deep bodied ariommatid in region). Head large with slightly oblique, terminal mouth. Snout rounded. Eye moderate. Upper jaw short and covered by pre-orbital bone. Very small teeth along jaw but not on palatine or vomer. Edge of opercle smooth. Caudal peduncle short and square-shaped with two fleshy keels on each side of caudal fin base. Dorsal fins barely separated. Second dorsal and anal fin of similar length and height. Caudal fin forked. Pectoral fins reach origin of second dorsal fin. Pelvic fins under base of pectoral fins. Dorsal and pelvic fins retract into groove. Lateral line high on body and ending before caudal peduncle. Head sensory system only moderately developed. Scales cycloid. Scales on head do not extend forward of pupil.


Body silvery with regular black spots scattered over body. Young with solid bars that transition into spots with age. Spots tend to be darker and more numerous on dorsum. Dark band through eye and on opercle. First dorsal fin, second dorsal fin, and anal fin silvery with black spots. Pelvic fin black. Tail silvery with no markings. Eye golden.


Maximum size to 20cm SL.


Benthopelagic from the surface (juveniles) to 500m (adults common under 200m). Juveniles around floating debris and Sargassum.


New Jersey to the Gulf of Mexico, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, and northern South America to Guyana.


Carpenter, K.E. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic (Vol. 3, pp. 1375-2127). Rome, Italy: Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations.