Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Ophidion imitator, Double-spotted cusk-eel, Mimic cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

2-3 alternating rows large spots
front D black
lower 9-12 gill rakers long
A: black

Ophidion imitator Lea, 1997

Mimic cusk-eel, Double-spotted cusk-eel

Elongate, compressed, greatest depth 6.8-7.2 in SL; head compressed; a small bony bump at tip of snout; operculum with a strong, skin covered spine at its upper corner; 12-15 gill rakers, lower 9-12 relatively long; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail; dorsal rays 135-163; anal rays 112-139; pectoral rays 25-28; pelvic fins each with 2 thread-like rays of unequal length, inserted under eye; scales smooth, elongate, not overlapping, at right angles rather than regular series, none on head.

Generally grey with 2-3 series of alternating dark brown spots along upper body; outer edge of front part of dorsal fin black; anal fin blackish.

Size: grows to at least 20 cm.

Habitat: sand and mud bottoms at 18-232 m.

Depth: 20-230 m.

The mouth of the Gulf of California to Panama.

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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
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Phytoplankton
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 20
Depth Range Max
  • 230