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Species: Ethadophis merenda, Snack snake-eel

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D origin well before gill opening
LL straight between pores
1 tooth exposed under snout
lower jaw tip ends under front nostril

Ethadophis merenda Rosenblatt and McCosker, 1970

Snack snake-eel

Very elongate, body depth at anus 1.8% of TL; head compressed; body cylindrical at front, compressed at rear; tail 49% of TL; snout rounded, overhanging well beyond lower jaw, which, ends just behind front nostrils, without a median longitudinal groove on underside; front nostril a short tube near tip of snout, rear nostril inside mouth just before eye, in a short tube with a front flap; eye small, behind center of mouth by a distance equal to distance between front nostrils; teeth small, conical, pointed, in single series on jaws and roof of mouth, only the first central, upper front teeth exposed under overhanging snout when mouth is closed; gill openings crescent shaped, vertical, low on sides, widely separated under throat; gill pouch expanded; dorsal and anal fins forming ridges below the skin; dorsal fin origin on head, 1.5 snout lengths before gill opening; no pectorals; tip of tail finless, blunt and fleshy, dorsal and anal fin rays join tail fin rays underneath skin of tail; skin smooth, with papillae on front of head and tip of tail; lateral line from head to near tip of tail, line straight between each pore; 159 vertebrae.

Color of preserved fish: Brown, paler below; dorsal fin ridge white.

Length 53 cm.

Habitat and depth are not known as this species is only from the holotype collected from the stomach of a White weakfish, Atractosion nobilis, on the Pacific coast of Baja.

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  • Brackish
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Beach
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • TEP non-endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 53
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3