Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Ophidion fulvum, Earspot cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

operculum: metallic spot
D: base - dark line, margin - dark + spot at front
lower gill rakers: 4 stubby, short
pelvic = 1.3x pectoral
A: dark margin

Ophidion fulvum Hildebrand & Barton, 1949

Earspot cusk-eel

Elongate, compressed; head compressed; snout pointed, with small bump at front; eye slightly elongate, ~ 29% of head length; mouth large, horizontal, lower jaw shorter, top jaw reaches to end of pupil; operculum with a strong, skin covered spine at its upper corner; jaw teeth simple, in bands, outer series enlarged; 6 gill rakers, lower 4 short, stubby; lateral line high, absent on rear 1/3 of tail; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail; dorsal 137-160 rays, origin behind middle of pectoral; anal 112-136 rays, origin about 1 head-length behind dorsal origin; pectoral broad, short, reaching < ½ way to anal, 23-26 rays; pelvic fins (each with 2 thread-like rays of unequal length) inserted under eye, fins ~ 1/3 longer than pectorals; scales elongate, not overlapping and not in regular series, at right angles, none on head.

Uniform brown, paler on abdomen and chest; operculum with metallic earspot; dorsal fin with narrow brown band along length of its base, a dark blotch at the front; margin of dorsal, tail and anal fins faintly edged in black; no dark chin spot, inside mouth and gill chamber dark.

Size: 18 cm.

Habitat: mangroves and still muddy and sandy bottoms.

Depth: 1-20 m.

Panamá to northern Peru.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mud
  • Mangrove
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • 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
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 18
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20