Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Saurenchelys cognita, Known Sorcerer, Longface Eel, Longface Sorcerer Eel

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snout long, narrow, tip soft
rear nostril = slit before center eye
roof mouth: 2 pairs side tooth patches
no pectorals
vertebrae 199-209

Saurenchelys cognita Smith, 1989

Longface Eel, Known Sorcerer, Longface Sorcerer Eel

Elongate, cylindrical at front, compressed at rear, tapering to a long slender, pointed tail; head and body ~23% of TL; a long narrow snout that has a soft tip; large eye; front nostril tubular, at front of snout, rear nostril a horizontal slit before center of eye; jaws long and pointed, with top jaw overhanging; teeth conical, relatively small, in bands; 3 rows of teeth on top jaw, inner row largest; a spade-shaped patch of ~6 transverse rows of teeth at center of top jaws under snout; a long tooth patch on center of roof of mouth that has a large central row and 2-3 rows of smaller teeth at side, a pair of extra bands of small teeth inside & behind those; lower jaw with 3-5 rows of teeth, front teeth fit into gap behind central-front tooth patch of upper jaws; no pectoral fins; dorsal fin origin slightly behind gill opening; dorsal and anal fins confluent with tail fin; lateral line complete, on head and body; 199-209 vertebrae.

Silvery, edges of median fins black; stomach pale.

Reaches 52 cm.

Lives on soft silt and mud bottoms.

Depth range: 59-158 m.

The Gulf of Mexico to N Carolina.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 52
Depth Range Min
  • 59
Depth Range Max
  • 158