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Species: Callechelys guineensis, Shorttail snake eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

large dark spots, no saddles
belly not spotted
D (high) & A spotted
tail < 40% TL, tip hard & finless
no pectorals
gill openings underneath

Callechelys guineensis (Osorio, 1894)

Shorttail snake eel

Head and body elongate, compressed, 66-70% of TL; head short, snout strongly pointed, a median groove on its underside extends to front nostrils, slightly overhanging mouth; anterior nostril tubular; rear nostril in top lip under eye, opens outside when mouth is closed, covered by a flap; teeth small, pointed, in 1 row on jaws (4-5 above, 7-11 below), 2 between top jaws, 6-9 on roof of mouth; gill openings low on side, converging forwards; gill chamber an expanded pouch; dorsal and anal fins present; dorsal fin high, begins on head at or just behind eye, and ends a little before tail tip; tip of tail a hard finless point; pectorals absent; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head.

Body pale blue to orange, pink on belly; head pale yellow; front of roof of mouth yellow-white; iris brassy; head, upper 3/4 of body and fins with many rounded dark brown spots edged with dusky yellow of varying size, those on snout and nape small, about eye-size, in a row along outer part of dorsal and anal fins; belly without spots.

Reaches 107 cm.

Sandy and seagrass bottoms.

Depth range: 0.5-36 m.

E & W Atlantic; S Carolina to Venezuela.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Submerged vegetation
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • All species..
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 107
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 36