Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Gordiichthys leibyi, String eel

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v elongate, body depth 1.1-1.2% TL
front nostril nontubular, in groove
LL pores 161-166
tail < 1/2 TL, tip fleshy, blunt
front roof mouth - 1 row teeth
no pectorals
gill opening low

Gordiichthys leibyi McCosker & Bohlke, 1984

String eel

Body extremely elongate, wormlike (depth 1.1-1.25% TL), cylindrical; anus shortly behind mid-length; with a blunt tip; snout pointed, overhanging; underside of snout flat, with a central groove that exposes 2 pairs of protruding teeth, shortly behind those are 6-8 teeth in 1 row on roof of mouth, front teeth largest; teeth small, conical, in single series on jaws (8-10 on top jaws; 10-12 on bottom jaws, front teeth largest); 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; jaws short, lower jaw not reaching front nostril; lips without barbels; eye small; gill opening crescentic, low on side; dorsal fin origin on head; median fins low, extending nearly to finless tail  tip; no pectorals; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head, 161-166 pores.

Preserved fish brown, with minute freckles; fins colorless

Reaches 42.5 cm.

Lives on sand & mud  bottoms.

Depth range: 37-72 m.

Florida to the Gulf of Mexico; Guyana to northern Brazil.

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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
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends South of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species..
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 72
Depth Range Min
  • 37
Length Max
  • 42.5