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Species: Ophichthus melope, Black-pored snake-eel

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head: no barbels, pores in black rings
D - origin after paddle-like pectoral
tail ~ 60% TL
body - thin pale bars

Ophichthus melope McCosker & Rosenblatt, 1998

Black-pored snake-eel

Moderately robust; tail 60-62% of TL; head 11-12% of TL; eye moderate, about over middle of mouth; front nostrils tubular, rear nostril a hole above top lip, covered by a flap that extends to or below edge of mouth; snout overhanging; no head barbels; mouth large; teeth conical, 1 row on roof of mouth (which ends under eye) and side of lower jaw, 2 rows on side of top jaw; gill opening vertical, semicircular; dorsal fin origin well behind pectoral tips; tip of tail a blunt, finless point; pectoral fins rounded, paddle shaped, with restricted bases - opposite and above upper half of gill opening; lateral line not abruptly arched at rear of head.

Brown above, paler below, paler below; body with irregular asymmetrical narrow pale bars; head pores in wide black rings, but lateral line pores not; front of dorsal fin with broad black margin, rest of fin with thin dark margin; anal and pectorals colorless.

Size: grows to 27 cm.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms.

Depth: 70-244 m.

Costa Rica to Colombia.


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Salinity
  • Marine Only
  • Marine
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
Habitat
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
Diet
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continent
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 27
Depth Range Min
  • 70
Depth Range Max
  • 244