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Species: Chilorhinus suensonii, Seagrass Eel, Seagrass False Moray

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center roof mouth - 2 rows teeth
D origin distinctly behind but near gill opening
lower lip - downturned flange
no pectoral

Chilorhinus suensonii Lutken, 1852

Seagrass Eel, Seagrass False Moray

Body short and stout, slightly compressed; anus slightly before mid-body; snout short, broadly rounded; large eyes; front nostril tubular, points downward; rear nostril opens in top lip under eye; mouth small, ends before rear edge of eye; lower lip with a downturned flange; top lip without a flange, but projects below, covering part of lower jaw when mouth is closed, jaw teeth slender, in 2 rows; a round patch of teeth at front between top jaws; 2 widely separated rows of teeth on center of roof of mouth; lower jaw teeth in several irregular rows at front, 1 row at rear; gill opening small, oval, lateral; pectoral fins tiny to absent; dorsal and anal fins well developed, increase in height to rear and join a broad tail fin; dorsal origin distinctly behind gill opening, but before anus; lateral line reduced to 1 pore high above gill area, 6 pores on lower jaw, last well behind end of mouth.

Purplish-brown, abruptly pale to silvery below, especially on head and breast; in small fish a line from the eye to snout often separates the dark and light areas of the head; large fish often sprinkled with pale spots; a pale ring around gill opening.

Reaches 21 cm.

Algal and seagrass beds, usually in clearwater areas.

Depth range: 2-450 m.

Bermuda to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 21
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 450