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Species: Ahlia egmontis, Key-worm eel

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nostrils: front tubular, rear in mouth
D origin over/behind anus
tail tip flexible, C obvious
roof mouth - no teeth
large pectoral

Ahlia egmontis (Jordan, 1884)

Key-worm eel

Body moderately stout; head and trunk 41-46% of TL; snout ~conical, overhanging; eye well developed; teeth on jaws conical, small, 1 row; no teeth on roof of mouth; front nostril tubular; rear nostril in lip, opens under a flap into mouth; gill opening at mid-side, its opening constricted; dorsal fin origin over or behind anus; tail fin present, visible, joined to dorsal and anal fins; tail tip flexible; pectoral fins well developed, broad based, rounded; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head; pores on head.

Pale tan; covered with tiny black dots; adults darker, with red-brown band at back of head.

Reaches 47 cm.

Lives in seagrass beds in bays and mangroves, also on offshore reefs.

Depth range: 0.2-37 m.

W Atlantic; from S Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Soft bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 47
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 37