Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Ophichthus: Greek, ophis = serpent + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335). More on author: Kaup.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 2 - 20 m (Ref. 89972), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 0°C -
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 120 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 89972)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Vertebrae: 177 - 179. Color tan to brown; larger specimens becoming darker above lateral midline and its median fins with black margin; pectoral fins dark; those of smaller specimens may be clear. A prominent pale spot before eye and a smaller pale spot on snout above anterior nostril. Barbels prominent along ventral margin of upper lip; one beneath the anterior margin of the eye, the other midway between it and the base of the anterior nostril. Dorsal fin elevated , its origin just above or slightly in advance of gill openings. Pectoral fins elongate, 2.4-2.8 HL.
A benthic (Ref. 75154) and burrowing species which occurs over soft bottoms of inshore waters (Ref. 7300, 75154). Feeds on cephalopodes, crustaceans and small fishes (Ref. 89972). Solitary in sand, often with head protruding (Ref 90102).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
McCosker, J.E. and J.E. Randall, 2002. Ophichthys melanochir Bleeker, 1865, a junior synonym of the highfin snake eel Ophichthus altipennis (Kaup, 1856). Copeia 2002(3):798-799. (Ref. 43769)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.1 - 29.2, mean 28.4 °C (based on 3045 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00129 (0.00054 - 0.00308), b=2.92 (2.72 - 3.12), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.7 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (56 of 100) .