Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Ophichthus mecopterus, Long-armed snake-eel

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head pores in black rings
body: ~ 10 narrow pale bars
tail 63-65% TL
pectoral long, pointed

Ophichthus mecopterus McCosker & Rosenblatt, 1998

Long-armed snake-eel

Moderately elongate; tail 63-65% of TL; head 11-13.5% of TL; eye moderate to large, about over middle of mouth; both nostrils tubular, rear nostril opens into mouth; a conspicuous barbel between front and rear nostrils, usually 2 barbels behind rear nostril; snout overhanging; mouth large; teeth conical, numerous, 1 row on roof of mouth and side of lower jaw, 2 rows on side of top jaw; gill opening vertical, semicircular; dorsal fin origin over pectorals; tip of tail a blunt, finless point; pectoral fins well developed, long, pointed, longer than mouth, with restricted bases - opposite and above upper half of gill opening; lateral line not abruptly arched at rear of head

(Preserved fish) Pale, snout, forehead, nape and upper surface of body to below lateral line with dense peppering of brown dots; flanks with about 10 irregularly spaced pale bars; head pores in black rings, but lateral line pores not; dorsal fin with faint dark margin; anal pale, faint dark margin on rear fifth; pectoral colorless, fine spotting on inner base.

Size: grows to 28 cm.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms.

Depth: 25-80 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)
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 28
Depth Range Min
  • 25
Depth Range Max
  • 80