Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Ophidion nocomis, Letter Opener, Letter Opener Cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout - 2 spines
D 144-153
A 132 = 139
pale + few dots on flank & top head
gill rakers 0+4-5

Ophidion nocomis Robins & Bohlke, 1959

Letter Opener, Letter Opener Cusk-eel

Elongate, compressed; head compressed; snout with a small backward pointing spine behind a larger finger-shaped spine projecting down and forwards; only a short notch below front nostril; front pore above eye over rear of eyeball; teeth on sides of roof of mouth in 1 row; gill rakers: 2 upper rudiments, 4-5 developed lower rakers; operculum with a strong, hidden spine; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail; dorsal fin 144-153; anal fin 132-139; 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.

Pale throughout; large fish with a few dark dots on mid-flank and a few dark dots on top of skull and behind that on midline; iris, gill chamber and peritoneum silvery.

Reaches 8.7 cm.

Benthic on sand bottoms with patches of turtle grass, and adjacent to reefs.

Depth range: 1-22 m.

The Bahamas to the SE Caribbean.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
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
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.7
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 22