Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Phaenomonas pinnata, Elastic snake-eel, Shortfin snake-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye minute
snout overhanging
extremely elongate, cylindrical
D: head & neck only
tail < 1/4 TL, no C
no pectorals or A

Phaenomonas pinnata Myers & Wade, 1941

Elastic Eel, Shortfin Snake Eel, Elastic Snake Eel

Body extremely elongate, cylindrical; tail very short, ~ 30% of TL; the only fin present is a short-based dorsal originating on head and ending on front of body; snout overhanging, blunt, grooved below; eye minute; front nostril tubular; rear nostril under edge of top lip, inside mouth; teeth small, stout, conical, in single row on jaws; ~ 5 teeth on vomer; gill openings low on side, crescentic; tip of tail a hard conical point.

Body reddish; front part of head translucent; tail yellowish.

Size: 54 cm.

Habitat: burrows in mud and sand bottoms.

Depth: 1-50 m.

The Gulf of California to the Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 54
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 50