Cryptic Sole, Aseraggodes crypticus Randall & Allen 2007

A Cryptic Sole, Aseraggodes crypticus, at Christmas Island, July 2023. Source: Alex Hoschke / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


A rare mottled sole with a white, brown and black variegated pattern. This small sole is found only at the Australian Territory of Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Aseraggodes crypticus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024,

Cryptic Sole, Aseraggodes crypticus Randall & Allen 2007

More Info


Known only from the Australian Territory of Christmas Island in the Eastern Indian Ocean.


Dorsal fin 58-79; Anal fin 56-59, all dorsal and anal rays branched except for first few dorsal rays; Caudal fin 18 (16 branched); Pelvic fin 5; Pectoral fins absent; Lateral-line scales (eyed-side) 70-76, incl 8 anterior to upper end of gill cover; Vertebrae 37.

Head length 4.05-4.15 in SL; caudal peduncle absent; snout length 2.85-2.9 in head length; eye diameter 5.35- 5.9 in head length; interorbital space narrow, 12.4- 17.2 in head length; dorsal pterygiophores anterior to fourth neural spine 12-13; body depth 2.2-2.45 in SL; longest dorsal ray 1.6-1.7 in head length; caudal fin 4.15 in SL; pelvic fins not connected to anal fin or genital papilla, reaching base of third anal ray, 1.9-2.0 in head length; most scales of body with 10-12 cteni that project well beyond scale margin; ocular-side of snout fully scaled, the scales progressively smaller anteriorly, the cteni replaced anteriorly by small cirri.

Similar Species

The Cryptic Sole, which is endemic to Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), was previously confused with the Dappled Sole Aseraggodes melanostictus. A. crypticus differs in having branched dorsal and anal-fin rays (unbranched in A. melanostictus), and in lacking cirri along the edges of dorsal and anal-fin rays (present in A. melanostictus).


The specific name crypticus is from the Greek 'krypto' meaning hide or conceal, in reference to the concealment provided by the very mottled colour pattern.

Species Citation

Aseraggodes crypticus Randall & Allen 2007, Rec. W. A. Mus. 24(1): 110, fig.1. Type locality: Indian Ocean, Christmas Island, 10°26'S, 105°40'E, 15-25m.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Cryptic Sole, Aseraggodes crypticus Randall & Allen 2007


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

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1979. The Fishes of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Aust. Natl. Parks Wldlf. Ser. Spec. Publ. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service 81 pp. (as A. melanostictus)

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp (as A. melanostictus)

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M.  2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2, 284 pp.

Hobbs, J.-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., et al. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 30: 184-202.

Munroe, T.A. 2021. Aseraggodes crypticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T161303437A161303441. Accessed on 13 December 2023.

Randall, J.E. 2005. A review of soles of the genus Aseraggodes from the South Pacific, with descriptions of seven new species and a diagnosis of Synclidopus. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 62(2): 191-212 (as Aseraggodes melanostictus in part)

Randall, J.E. & Allen, G. R. 2007. Aseraggodes crypticus, a new sole (Pleuronectiformes: Soleidae) from Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Records of the Western Australian Museum 24(1): 109-112

Randall, J.E., Bogorodsky, S.V. & Mal, A.O. 2013.  Four new soles (Pleuronectiformes: Soleidae) of the genus Aseraggodes from the western Indian Ocean. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 8: 1-17.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37462056

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:15-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:5.8 cm TL

Native:Endemic (AUS EEZ)

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