| Ecological Descriptors
|Be, S, Co
Body elongated, brown, reddish or silver with red, yellow or blue markings head and upper trunk. The belly is light. Side of body with 5 to 13 reddish-brown cross-bands, extending downward, usually (but not always) meeting diamond shaped markings along lateral line. Body with thin longitudinal yellow-gold stripes. Black blotch at upper side behind operculum (gill cover). Red lizardfish (Synodus synodus) are easily confused. Positive identification needs ray count (anal 11 vs 12-14).
They can change from bright to dull sandy grey to match the background.
Male Sand Divers have elongated anterior rays in their dorsal fin, plus a long pelvic fin filament (source to be confirmed/ verified)
By far the commonest Lizardfish species in Antigua. Sand Divers are demersal or benthic fish (living close to the sea bed) and often bury themselves in the sand (feeding mode) at a water depth ranging from 3 to 320m (10 to 950ft), or can use habitats on shallow coral reefs and rock structures. As ambush predators, they often support themselves on their pelvic fins in the sand near rocks and stay still until prey species are within range, or bury themselves in the sand and wait with only their eyes exposed.
They consume a variety of small reef fishes, shrimps and squid.
Although usually solitary, Sand Divers can occur in shoals with fewer males than females.
Mating periods usually take place during the Summer and Autumn and they show no parental care. Eggs are left on their own until they hatch. Fertilization is external, with females laying eggs along the reef, whilst the males follow and fertilise.