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Species: Ichthyapus selachops, Smiling sand-eel

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snout pointed, overhanging
eyes minute
no fins
tail tip hard point
nostrils: front = hole, rear in mouth

Ichthyapus selachops (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Smiling sand-eel

Body elongate, cylindrical, pointed at both ends, entirely finless; head and trunk 36-38% of TL;  snout sharply pointed from side, depressed and broad above, overhanging, underside flattened and with a tooth-bearing central groove; teeth pointed, in single rows on jaws and roof of mouth; front nostril a flat hole, rear one with an irregular rim opens into mouth; eyes tiny; gill openings entirely below head, on throat, converging forward, almost touching in center underneath.

Overall creamy yellow.

Size: grows to 54 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: 5-30 m.

The Gulf of California to Ecuador.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 30