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Species: Bascanichthys bascanium, Sooty Eel

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dark above, grades to pale below
LL pores no pale spots
pectoral width 36-86% gill opening length

Bascanichthys bascanium (Jordan, 1884)

Sooty Eel

Body very elongate (body depth 1-2.2% TL); head and trunk 49-57% of TL; tip of tail finless, hard, blunt; head skin rough; eye small; snout short, blunt, grooved on underside; front nostril tubular, rear nostril opens in mouth; jaw teeth small, conical, in 1 row on jaws, 2 rows on roof of mouth, those between top jaws exposed when mouth is closed; gill opening crescent-like, at lower side; dorsal and anal fins low; dorsal origin before gill opening; pectoral fin small, broad based, width 38-86% of gill opening; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head.

Dark above, especially on back, graduating to pale below; head paler than body; fins pale, dorsal fin appears as a white stripe along dark back; no pale spots along lateral line.

Reaches 79 cm.

Sandy bottoms, along shallow sandy beaches.

Depth range: 0-24 m.

Georgia to Honduras.

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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
  • Beach
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 79
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 24