Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Echiophis punctifer, Snapper eel, Snapper spoon-nose eel, Stippled spoon-nose eel

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6-8 rows small spots
D origin behind pectoral by > pectoral length
preopercular pores in dark spots

Echiophis punctifer (Kaup, 1860)

Stippled spoon-nose eel, Snapper eel

Body stout, cylindrical; tail 52-57% of TL; snout short, conical; mouth long, jaws nearly equal; lips without barbels; eye moderate, far forward and near top of head profile; front nostril tubular, rear nostril a short tube before and under eye; teeth strong, pointed, in double series, largest at and near front, those on roof of mouth nearly continuous with those at front between top jaws, largest at front of jaws; gill opening vertical, on side, elongate; dorsal fin origin behind pectoral tips by > pectoral length; tail tip blunt; pectoral large, rounded; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head; 3 pores low on preoperculum behind mouth.

Tan, a brown stripe along each side of the base of the dorsal fin; a red-brown stripe along base of anal fin; numerous small, eye-sized spots in 6-8 indistinct rows along body; smaller, more numerous spots on head; jaw pores and the 3 preopercular pores behind mouth in prominent dark spots; dorsal fin with diffuse spots, a black margin; anal fin with a prominent black margin; pectoral dark except at base.

Reaches 180 cm.

Soft bottoms.

Depth range: 0-100 m.

Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 180
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 100