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Species: Paraletharchus opercularis, Pouched sailfin-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head spotted
chin + throat barred
body - 4 rows dark spots
D: margin spotted

Paraletharchus opercularis (Myers & Wade, 1941)

Pouch Snake Eel, Pouched Sailfin Eel

Body elongate, compressed; eye relatively small: diameter = 1/3 length of lower jaw, 3.6-5.2% of head length; head and trunk longer than tail; front nostril tubular, down pointing, under snout; rear nostril a slit in upper lip just before eye; jaw teeth small, pointed and close set and in single rows; gill openings below, converging anteriorly; gill chamber a large inflated pouch; tail tip a hard finless point; dorsal fin high, origin on head; no anal fin; no pectoral fins.

Yellow to tan; head with dense to sparse scattering of small dark spots, with 2-6 dark bars across chin and throat; body with a row of large dark spots along back just below dorsal fin, a row of smaller spots immediately above lateral line, which is translucent, and another below that line, another row along the ventral surface, those spots becoming crowded and fusing with each other posteriorly; dorsal fin white with narrow dark margin of spots.

Size: 65 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: to 10 m.

The Revillagigedos, Cocos and Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
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
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Multiple oceanic islands endemic
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 65
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10