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Encheliophis vermicularis Müller, 1842
Finless pearlfish

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Carapidae   Encheliophis

Encheliophis vermicularis
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Encheliophis vermicularis

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Encheliophis vermicularis
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Encheliophis vermicularis

Main identification features
  • tan, darker at rear; tail black
  • no pectorals
  • in sea slugs
Slender, short body, long slender tail; dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail fin; dorsal origin well behind origin of anal; rear margin of top jaw bone covered by skin; no large fangs at front of each jaws; upper jaw with row of strong curved teeth outside inner row of conical teeth; lower jaw with single row of conical teeth; no fleshy flap at snout tip; gill opening on lower side; no pectoral fins.

Dusky pink, shading to blackish purple grey on tail; lower body silver; iris grey-green.

Size: 15 cm.

Habitat: lives in the guts of Sea cucumbers, including Isostichopus fuscus.

Depth: 0-30 m?.

An Indo-Pacific species; in our region found from the lower half of the Gulf of California to Ecuador, the Galapagos and Cocos.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 30 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=27; Southern limit=-2; Western limit=-112; Eastern limit=-78; Latitudinal range=29; Longitudinal range=34.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Parasitic.
FishBase Habitat: Demersal.
Global Endemism: Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans); TEP non-endemic; West + East Pacific (but not Central); "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Bivalves & sea cucumbers; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Soft bottom only.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 15 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Echeverry, O.I. and Polanía, J., 2001., Nuevo registro del pez perla Encheliophis dubius (Putman 1874) y primera recolección Encheliophis vermicularis (Müller 1842) para el archipiélago de Galápagos., Boletin Ecotropica. Univ. Bog. Jorge Tadeo Lozano, 35:31-36.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., 2000., The distribution and affinities of the shore fishes of the Baja California Sur lagoons. In Aquatic Ecosystems of Mexico: Status and Scope. Eds. M. Manuwar, S.G. Lawrence, I.F. Manuwar & D.F. Malley. Ecovision World Monograph Series., Backhuys Publishers:383-398.
  • Heller , E. and Snodgrass, R.E., 1903., Papers from the Hopkins Stanford Galapagos expedition, 1898-1899. XV. New fishes., Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci., 5:189-229.
  • Markle , D.F. and Olney, J.E., 1990., Systematics of the Pearlfishes (Pisces: Carapidae)., Bull. Mar. Sci., 47:269-410.
  • Murdy , E. O. and Cowan, M. E., 1980., Observations on the Behavior and Symbiotic Relationship of the Pearlfish Encheliophis vermicularis (Osteichthys: Carapidae)., Kalisan, Philipp. J. Biol., 9:309-312.
  • Müller, J. W., 1842., Beobachtungen über die Schwimmblase der Fische, mit Bezug auf einige neue Fischgattungen. With subtitles I-III., Arch. Anat. (Müller), 1842:307-329.
  • Nielsen , J. G. , Cohen , D. M. , Markle , D. F. and Robins, C. R., 1999., Ophidiiform fishes of the world (Order Ophidiiformes)., FAO Fish. Synop. No 125, 18(125):1-177.
  • Snodgrass , R. E. and Heller, E., 1905., Papers from the Hopkins Stanford Galapagos expedition, 1898-1899. XVII. Shorefishes of the Revillagigedo, Clipperton, Cocos and Galapagos Island., Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci., 6:333-427.
  • Williams, J.T., 1984., Synopsis and phylogenetic analysis of the pearlfish subfamily Carapinae (Pisces: Carapidae)., Bull. Mar. Sci., 34:386-397.


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