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Species: Myrophis vafer, Pacific worm-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout wide, depressed
pale grey
tail >> 1/2 TL
C obvious, soft, joined to D & A
rear nostril in mouth
pectoral large
gill opening small, at bottom of pectoral base

Myrophis vafer Jordan & Gilbert, 1883


Pacific worm-eel


Elongate to stout, compressed; tail 58-64% of TL, its tip flexible; snout wide, depressed, overhanging, without groove on underside; eye large, its size affected by sexual development; front nostril tubular, rear nostril under a flap, opening into mouth; lips without barbells; teeth small, conical, not depressible, 1 to multiple rows, on jaws and central roof of mouth; gill opening small, at lower corner of pectoral base; dorsal fin origin before mid-trunk; dorsal and anal confluent with tail fin; pectoral fin well developed, broad based; lateral line complete, lines of each side of head connected by 2 canals with across top of head.

Pale grey to whitish, darker speckling above.

Size: grows to 47 cm.

Habitat: soft bottoms.

Depth: 0-15 m.

Southern California to Peru.

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  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Freshwater
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mangrove
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 47
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 15