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Species: Ophidion josephi, Crested cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout to D profile straight
snout - 1 spine
male - nape crest
D 138-146, front black blotch
A 114-121
body - 3 rows spots, top forms stripe
gill rakers 0+4

Ophidion josephi Girard, 1858

Crested cusk-eel

Elongate, compressed; head compressed; head profile nearly straight from tip of snout to behind eye; mature male with crest on nape; snout with a small, blunt spine projecting down towards tip of snout; gill rakers: 2 rudiments above, 4 rakers below; operculum with a strong, hidden spine; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail; dorsal fin 138-146; anal fin 114-121; 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.

Tan; 3 rows of dark spots along body, upper row usually fused into an irregular stripe, middle row partly or completely fused in a stripe on or below lateral line; dorsal fin with a long black blotch at front, a black margin behind that blotch; anal fin with black margin.

Reaches 28.4 cm.

Benthic on soft bottoms.

Depth range: 0-55 m.

Georgia to  the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Extends North of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 28.4
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 55