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Species: Lepophidium kallion, Palenose Cusk-eel

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under snout: pale, with fringes
lateral line striped
nape & flank: dark marks

Lepophidium kallion Robins, 1959

Palenose Cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like, tapering at rear to a point at tail; head low, compressed; snout with well developed, curved spine at front, a fringe of several series of elaborate small flaps under tip around nostrils; eye large; mouth large, broad, nearly horizontal; teeth on jaws small, simple, in bands, outer ones larger; no tooth patch at lower front of gill arches; gill rakers – upper arm with 2-3 rudiments, lower arm with 4 (4-5) developed rakers plus 1-3 rudiments below, total 8-9 rakers; dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail; dorsal fin 117-122; anal fin 95-101; pectorals on midside, 21-22 (20-23); pelvics each of two small threads inserted under eye; scales round, small, in regular overlapping rows; head extensively covered with overlapping scales extending to between or before eyes, on cheeks and opercle; lateral line complete.

Head & body brown, usually with a brown stripe above and below a pale stripe along lateral line, sometimes those dark stripes form dark dashes; may be some dark blotches on side above pectoral fin; nape may be dark with pale spots; snout pale; rear of mouth dark, gill chamber and entire gut black; anus black; dorsal fin with strong black edge, anal fin with or without less black edge.

Reaches 17.5 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 219-1097 m.

The Bahamas to the southern Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • 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)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • Island (s)
  • 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
  • 17.5
Depth Range Min
  • 219
Depth Range Max
  • 1097