Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Leptenchelys vermiformis, Slender worm-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout overhanging, underneath with folds
D: origin on head
tail tip soft, with C
head & lower jaw: dense papillae
head pores raised
no pectorals

Leptenchelys vermiformis Myers & Wade, 1941

Slender Worm Eel

Long, cylindrical, wormlike; tail 42% of TL; top of head and snout covered with papillae; head pointed with snout projecting well beyond mouth; teeth on jaws small, conical, in single rows, two teeth between top jaws and 2-4 on vomer; front nostril tubular, points down; rear nostril on underside of top lip; eye very small; gill openings low on sides, almost vertical, curved; gill pouch puffed out; dorsal origin on head before gill opening; pectorals absent; tail tip flexible, tail fin confluent with dorsal and anal fins; lateral line extends onto head over eye and onto snout, branching around rear of eye and along top jaw, and with large pores along side of lower jaw.

Uniform light yellow.

Size: 12 cm.

Habitat: mud and sand bottoms.

Depth: 20-400 m.

Central Mexico to Costa Rica.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 12
Depth Range Min
  • 20
Depth Range Max
  • 400