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Species: Ophichthus apachus, Thin snake-eel

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very slender, compressed
tan + fine dots
head pores in dark rings
tail 75% TL
pectoral long, slender

Ophichthus apachus McCosker & Rosenblatt, 1998

Thin Snake Eel

Body very slender and elongate; tail 75% or more of TL; eye large, about over middle of mouth; front nostril tubular under snout; rear nostril opens just above lip, covered by a flap that extends below lip; snout overhanging; a small tentacle between front and rear nostrils; mouth large; teeth pointed, small, numerous, close-set, in 2 rows on jaws, 1 row on roof of mouth; gill opening vertical, semicircular; dorsal origin from just before to just after pectoral tip; tip of tail a blunt, finless point; pectoral fins well developed, larger than eye, with restricted bases - opposite and above upper half of gill opening, long and slender; lateral line not abruptly arched at rear of head.

(Preserved specimen) Tan, sides dusted with dots, denser above; chin with a dark smudge; pores on head in thin dark rings, that on lateral line unmarked.

Size: reaches over 60 cm.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms.

Depth: 0-8 m.

Mexico (Tres Marias Islands) and Costa Rica to northern Colombia.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 8
Length Max
  • 60