Family: SYNAPHOBRANCHIDAE, Cutthroat Eels
gill openings low, close together
Body stout to elongate; anus well before middle of fish; head variable; eye well developed to reduced; snout varies from short and blunt to elongate; front nostril tubular, rear nostril on side of snout at or below mid-eye level; mouth usually large, gape extending well behind eye; lips without fleshy flanges teeth small; teeth usually small and conical, 1-several rows on jaws and center roof of mouth, no fangs, sometimes large compound teeth on roof of mouth; gill openings close together low on body, below pectorals; dorsal and anal fins well developed, confluent with tail fin; scales present or absent; lateral line complete.
A cosmopolitan group of deep-water, bottom living eels; 7 genera with ~16 species; 6 genera and 13 species in our area but only 1 entering shallow water.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER SMITH (2002)