Family: OPHIDIIDAE, Cusk-eel, Cusk-eels
Cuskeels, which range from 10-100 cm, have an elongate, more or less eel-like, tapering body; front nostril halfway between top lip and rear nostril; operculum with a spine; long-based dorsal and anal fins continuous with the tail fin; dorsal fin origin before anal fin origin, dorsal fin rays usually longer than anal fin rays; pelvic fins absent or consist of one or two slender filamentous rays, fins close together and situated under the throat; some species have barbels around the mouth; scales present.
The family occurs worldwide in both shallow and deep seas. It contains about 49 genera and 237 species; 33 species in 13 genera occur in shallow water in our region.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER NIELSEN (2002)