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Species: Ophichthus arneutes, Submarine snake-eel

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tail 60% TL
eye large
no head barbels
uniform dark above, front nostrils white
rear nostril a hole + flap
D origin well behind pectoral

Ophichthus arneutes McCosker & Rosenblatt, 1998

Submarine Snake-eel

Body moderately elongate; tail 60% of TL; head 13% of TL; head and gill pouch bulbous; snout overhanging, blunt, rounded when viewed from above; eye large (13% head), over rear half of mouth; front nostrils tubular, extend sideways at ~450; rear nostril a hole above top lip, covered by a flap that extends to or below edge of mouth; head without barbels; mouth large; teeth small, numerous, conical; 1 row of 5 teeth on roof of mouth (which ends under rear nostril) and 42 teeth side of lower jaw, 2 rows at front of top jaw, 25 teeth on outer row, 4 teeth on inner row; gill opening angled down and back, semicircular; dorsal fin origin well behind pectoral tips; tip of tail a blunt, finless point; pectoral fins short, pointed, with restricted bases - opposite and above upper half of gill opening, tips ~1 fin length before dorsal fin origin; lateral line not abruptly arched at rear of head; head pores small, but conspicuous.

Preserved fish: Head and upper body uniform brown above, whitish below; a pale white spot at rear corner of mouth; chin & lower edge of lower jaw dark; front nostrils white, conspicuously paler than snout; pectoral fin with dark base; fins pale; head pores and lateral line pores on body not outlined with color.

Size: 31cm.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms.

Depth: 434-557 m.

The Galapagos.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • Galapagos Islands endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 31
Depth Range Min
  • 434
Depth Range Max
  • 557