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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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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 4
Depth Range Max
  • 60