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Genus: Ophichthus, Snake-Eels


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout pointed, overhanging
eye over center mouth
D origin near pectoral
tail =/> 1/2 TL, tip hard, finless, blunt
mouth large; teeth pointed but no fangs
any top lip barbels not pendulous
pectoral > eye, base < gill slit

OPHICHTHUS

SNAKE-EELS

Body slender to robust, cylindrical, stouter than tail; tail 50% or more of TL; tip of tail a blunt, finless point; eye moderate to large, about over middle of mouth; front nostril tubular under snout; rear nostril opens just above lip or in mouth; snout overhanging; any barbells on upper lip are not long and pendulous; mouth large; teeth pointed, not minute, 3 or less rows on top jaws, no canines; gill opening vertical, semicircular; dorsal origin above or behind gill opening; pectoral fins well developed, larger than eye, with restricted bases - opposite and above upper half of gill opening; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head, line not abruptly arched at rear of head.

A circumglobal tropical to warm temperate genus with about 66 species; with 10 shallow water species in our region, 9 west Atlantic and 1 trans-Atlantic.