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Species: Ophidion marginatum, Striped cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body - 3 dark stripes; side head - brown spots
snout- 1 spine
D 147-158
A 118-124
gill rakers 0+4-5

Ophidion marginatum DeKay, 1842

Striped cusk-eel

Elongate, compressed; head compressed; head profile nearly straight from tip of snout to behind eye; snout moderately pointed, slightly overhangs jaws, with a spine projecting down towards tip; male with prominent crest on nape; 4-5 lower gill rakers; operculum with a strong, hidden spine; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail; dorsal fin 147-158; anal fin 118-124; 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.

Grey-green above, golden on side, white below; body with 2-3 dark stripes along its entire length, 1 along lateral line; side of head with brown spots;  dorsal fin pale green, with black margin; anal fin with black margin.

Reaches 25 cm.

Benthic on sand bottoms.

Depth range: 0-100 m.

New York to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 100