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Species: Ophichthus melanoporus, Blackpored snake eel, Blackpored eel

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pores of head & LL in dark spots
tail 69-71% TL

Ophichthus melanoporus Kanazawa, 1963

Blackpored snake eel

Body cylindrical, very elongate, stouter than tail; tail very long, 69-71% of TL; head short, jaws narrow, elongate; snout broad, overhanging; eye moderate, over center of mouth; front nostril tubular, narrow; rear nostril at edge of and entirely outside mouth, with a small flap at front; mouth large; teeth fine, needle-like, widely spaced, no fangs, in single rows; roof of mouth with 8-11, front longest, top jaw with 12-17, lower jaw with 20-26; dorsal origin over tips of pectorals; pectoral fin small, 20-25% of head length, pointed, with restricted base - opposite and above upper half of gill opening; 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: yellow to tan; with fine brown spotting above; upper head pores and lateral line pores in conspicuous brown spots, those becoming fainter on tail.

Reaches 70 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 15-460 m.

N Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 70
Depth Range Min
  • 15
Depth Range Max
  • 460