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Species: Ophichthus cruentifer, Margined snake eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

uniform dark
D origin well behind pectoral
tail < 65% TL
teeth: small, 2+ rows on jaws, center roof of mouth -1 row at rear

Ophichthus cruentifer (Goode & Bean, 1896)

Margined snake eel

Body cylindrical, stouter than tail; tail 57-62% of TL; eye moderate, its rear margin over or just before corner of mouth; snout overhanging; front nostril tubular, under snout; rear nostril opens just outside lip, covered by a flap; mouth large; teeth conical, small, no fangs, on roof of mouth 3-7 pairs at front, then 9-15 staggered to 1-row; jaw teeth in two rows; top jaw with 15-20 on outer  row, 10-18 on inner row,  plus 2-5 in a short 3-row patch at front, lower jaw with 17-25 outer teeth, 3-13 on inner row; pectoral fin broad (length 20-30% of head length), like a spatula, with restricted base - opposite and above upper half of gill opening; dorsal origin well behind tips of pectorals; tip of tail a blunt, finless point; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head.

Preserved fish: dark, no bars or spots; head pores not in spots; dorsal and anal dark, may have darker margins.

Reaches 46.7 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 36-1743 m.

Maine to Suriname.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 46.7
Depth Range Min
  • 36
Depth Range Max
  • 1743