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Species: Gordiichthys irretitus, Horsehair eel

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v elongate, body depth 0.8-1% TL
front nostril nontubular, in groove
LL pores 186-189
tail < 1/2 TL, tip fleshy, blunt
front roof mouth - teeth 1 row
no pectorals
gill opening low

Gordiichthys irretitus Jordan & Davis, 1891

Horsehair eel

Body extremely elongate, wormlike (depth <1% of TL), cylindrical; anus shortly behind mid-length; tail with a blunt tip; front nostril not tubular, partly set off by a groove under snout; rear nostril a minute vertical slit at level of eye opening into mouth; snout pointed, overhanging; underside of snout flat, with a central groove that exposes 3 central protruding teeth, shortly behind those are 7 teeth in 1 row on roof of mouth; jaws short, lower jaw not reaching front nostril; teeth small, conical, in single series on jaws (9-10 on top jaws; 11 on bottom jaws, 2nd & 3rd enlarged), center of roof of mouth with 1 row of teeth; eye small; gill opening crescentic, low on side; dorsal fin origin on head; median fins low, extending nearly to finless tail tip; no pectoral fins; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head, 186-189 pores.

Preserved fish brown, with minute freckles; fins colorless.

Reaches 79 cm.

Lives on sand & mud bottoms.

Depth range: 90-200 m.

Gulf of Mexico to Puerto Rico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • GC endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 79
Depth Range Min
  • 90
Depth Range Max
  • 200