Twospot Lizardfish, Synodus binotatus Schultz 1953

Other Names: Spotnose Lizardfish, Two-spot Lizard Fish

A Twospot Lizardfish, Synodus binotatus, at Sangat Island, Coron Bay, Philippines. Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved

A Tip of snout with a pair of small but distinctive black spots.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Synodus binotatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024,

Twospot Lizardfish, Synodus binotatus Schultz 1953

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Offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef  to  the Gold Coast, southern Queensland; also the Lord Howe Province (Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs) in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits coral reefs, propping on hard surfaces, sometimes head down on steep slopes.


Feeds on fishes and crustaceans.

Similar Species

Although the similar Variegated Lizardfish, Synodus variegatus, also has two spots on the snout, it differs in having smaller scales, with 5.5 scale rows above the lateral line, (vs. 3.5 rows in S. binotatus). In addition, S. variegatus has scales with a dark margin, giving a diamond or mosaic pattern.


The specific name binotatus is from the Latin bi- (=  two) and notatus (= marked), in reference to the two black spots on the tip of the snout.

Species Citation

Synodus binotatus Schultz, 1953, Bull. U. S. Natl Mus. 202(1): 35, fig. 8. Type locality: Marshall Islands. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Twospot Lizardfish, Synodus binotatus Schultz 1953


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Chen, J.-P., Ho, H.-C. & Shao, K.-T. 2007. A new lizardfish (Aulopiformes: Synodontidae) from Taiwan with descriptions of three new records. Zoological Studies 46(2): 148-154.

Cressey, R. 1981. Revision of the Indo-west Pacific lizardfishes of the genus Synodus (Pisces : Synodontidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 342: 1-53 figs 1-44

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.
Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Russell, B.C. 1999. Families Synodontidae, Bathysauridae. pp. 1928-1947 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Russell, B., Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Lawrence, A. 2016. Synodus binotatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T67853143A67871640. Downloaded on 23 November 2020.

Waples, R.S. & Randall, J.E. 1989. A revision of the Hawaiian lizardfishes of the genus Synodus, with descriptions of four new species. Pacific Science 42(3-4): 177-213

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37118021

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1–30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:18 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map