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Species: Moringua edwardsi, Spaghetti Eel

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body >> 1/2 TL
D origin behind anus
LL complete
lower jaw projecting

Moringua edwardsi (Jordan & Bollman, 1889)

Spaghetti Eel

Very elongate, cylindrical, worm-like, adults relatively shorter; anus well behind middle of fish; head short and slender, lower jaw projecting; eyes minute in juveniles, large in adults; teeth few, moderate in size, partly lost at maturity, conical, with curved tips, in 1 row on jaws & 1 row of small teeth on roof of mouth, a semicircle of 6 larger teeth at front of top jaws; front nostrils in a low tube, rear one immediately before middle of eye; pectoral present, small, behind top of vertical, lateral gill opening; dorsal fin begins a little behind anus; median fins continuous, evident near end of tail; lateral line complete, to tip of tail, no pores on head except on lower jaw. Form varies with age and sex: Juveniles are very elongated and wormlike with small fins and rounded tails. Adults have larger fins. Females have rounded tails; in males the tail fin becomes forked and the dorsal and anal fins develop elevated lobes at the front.

Juveniles reddish at front yellow at rear, adults yellowish brown to black above, white below.

Size: 60 cm.

Habitat: burrowing in shallow sandy bottoms in brackish and marine environments, particularly around coral reefs; adult males may be pelagic at night, as they are easily caught at night lights.

Depth: 1-30 m; males may be in deep water.

Bermuda to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 60
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30