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Species: Lepophidium inca, Incan cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dusky body; LL uniform pale
in throat & gill chamber black
D 133-141; A 112-121, both dark margins
pectoral 21 (19-11), transparent
north Peru

Lepophidium inca Robins & Lea, 1978

Incan cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like; head low, compressed; tail compressed, tapering to a point; snout with strong spine that does not reach tip of top jaw; eye diameter ~ 20% of head length; mouth large, broad, nearly horizontal, top jaw ends behind eye; teeth on jaws small, simple, in bands; no tooth patch on base of gill arches;  gill rakers: 3 (3-4) rudiments above, 4-5 developed rakers below + 2-3 (1-5) rudiments, total 9-13; a small concealed spine at edge of operculum; dorsal and anal fins low, joined to tail; dorsal fin origin before middle of pectoral fin; dorsal 133-141 rays; anal fin 112-121 rays; pectoral long, reaching over ½ way to anal fin, on mid-side 21 (19-22); each pelvic is a pair of small threads inserted under eye; scales round, small, in regular rows, on head extending to between or before eyes, on cheeks and opercle; ~ 250 lateral scales.

Body uniform dusky, silvery on belly; rear of roof of mouth, gill arches, upper throat & oesophagus and front of intestine black; lateral line uniformly pale;  pectoral fins clear; dorsal and anal fins with dark margins, best developed in anal fin.

Size: 21 cm.

Habitat: demersal on soft bottoms.

Depth: 118-320 m.

Northern Peru.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 21
Depth Range Min
  • 118
Depth Range Max
  • 320