Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Paraletharchus pacificus, Pacific sailfin-eel

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head: white + brown spots
body dark, belly white
D white

Paraletharchus pacificus (Osburn & Nichols, 1916)

Pacific sailfin-eel

Body elongate, compressed; eye relatively large: diameter = ½ length of lower jaw, 5.4-7.1% 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.

Head whitish with brown spots; remainder of body dark brown, nearly blackish except white ventrally and also with white dorsal fin.

Size: to 81 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: 0-35 m.

Central Gulf of California; Costa Rica to Panama.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 81
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 35