Lucifuga lucayana

Common Name

Lucayan Cave Brotula

Year Described

Møller, Schwarzhans, Ilieffe & Nielsen, 2006


Dorsal Fin: 84-91
Anal Fin: 63-69
Pectoral Fin: 17-18
Caudal Fin: 10
Vertebrae: 50-52
Gill Rakers: 13-17 (first arch)

Body robust and elongate with an abruptly flattened (concave in profile) head above the mouth. Eye very small (~1% SL). Anterior nostril a tube on snout. Posterior nostril a hole closer to eye. Supraorbital pores 4, infraorbital pores 6, mandibular pores 6, preopercular pores 2. Mouth large with an expanded maxilla posteriorly. Teeth present on premaxilla, vomer, and dentary in several rows. Palatine teeth absent. Pseudobranchial filaments 1-2. Dorsal fin origin over pectoral fins. Anal fin origin well behind dorsal origin. Dorsal and anal fin not connected to tail. Pectoral fin inserted on midbody. Pelvic fin a single filamentous ray. Body and head posterior to the orbit scaled (about 20 rows on body). Occiput fully scaled. Lateral line with 12-13 dorsal neuromasts and 34-35 lateral neuromasts.


Body uniformly dirty pale brown. Ridges and pores on head/lips whitish. Bases of fins opaque whitish. Rest of fins translucent. Eye blackish. Gill filaments pale, not black.


Specimens range from 44-99mm SL.


Only known from submarine cave systems. Appears to be found mostly deeper than a depth of 12m which corresponds to the saline portions of the cavern.


Known from the northern Bahamas: Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands. Captured in two caves (Lucayan and Zodiac Caverns) on Grand Bahama and at least one or two sinkholes on Abaco.


Nielsen, J.G. 2006. Revision of the Bahamian cave-fishes of the genus Lucifuga (Ophidiiformes, Bythitidae), with description of a new species from islands on the Little Bahama Bank. Zootaxa, 1223, 23-46.

Other Notes

There are two allopatric Lucifuga in the Bahamas, but this is the only species on the Little Bahama islands. They can be separated by details in meristics, squamation on the top of the head, presence of palatine teeth, and gill filament pigmentation.