Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Ophichthus longipenis, Long-tail snake-eel, Slender snake-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout long, pointed
large eye
pores head & LL in dark spots
tail 74-80% TL
pectoral long, slender

Ophichthus longipenis McCosker & Rosenblatt, 1998

Slender Snake Eel, Long-tail Snake-eel

Elongate, slender; tail very long (74-80% of TL); head 7-9% of TL; eye large, about over middle of mouth; front nostril tubular under snout; rear nostril a hole above top lip covered by a flap that extends down to or below edge of mouth; a small tentacle between front and rear nostril; snout long and pointed when viewed from above, overhanging; mouth large; teeth pointed, small, numerous, in 1 row on roof of mouth, one row on sides of jaws, slender, curved, widely spaced; gill opening vertical, semicircular; dorsal fin origin ~ over pectoral fin base; pectoral fins long and slender, with restricted base; tip of tail a blunt, finless point; lateral line not abruptly arched at rear of head.

Color: Preserved fish uniform tan, paler below; fine brown flecking on head, chin, inside mouth, flanks and back; pores of head and front of lateral line in dark brown spots; fins pale.

Size: 59 cm.

Habitat: sand bottoms.

Depth: 0-70 m.

The SE corner of the Gulf of California to Panama.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • Continental 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
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 70
Length Max
  • 59