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Species: Ophidion grayi, Blotched cusk-eel

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upper head profile convex
snout - 1 spine
D 133-144, scattered spots, edge -black blotches
body - 2 rows dark blotches
gill rakers 0+4
A 98-105

Ophidion grayi (Fowler, 1948)

Blotched cusk-eel

Elongate, compressed; head compressed; head profile convex from snout to dorsal fin origin; snout moderately blunt, slightly overhanging, with a small, blunt spine projecting down towards its tip; gill rakers - 2 rudiments above, 4 rakers below; operculum with a strong, hidden spine; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail; dorsal fin 133-144; anal fin 98-105; pelvic fins (each with 2 rays of unequal length) inserted under eye; scales smooth, elongate, not overlapping, at right angles rather than regular series, none on head; lateral line along most of body.

Light tan; 2 irregular rows of dark brown spots and blotches, upper row from top of body to lateral line, lower row from lateral line down, some of upper row spots coalesced into horizontal blotches; top of head and dorsal fin with scattered dark brown spots; margin of dorsal fin with black blotches; anal fin clear, with black margin.

Reaches 30 cm.

Benthic on soft bottoms.

Depth range: 4-60 m.

S Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.


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Salinity
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
Habitat
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
Diet
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC endemic
  • Continent
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 4
Depth Range Max
  • 60