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Ethadophis merenda Rosenblatt and McCosker, 1970
Snack snake-eel

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Ophichthidae   Ethadophis

Ethadophis merenda
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Ethadophis merenda

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Main identification features
  • dorsal fin origin well before gill opening
  • lateral line straight between pores
  • 1 tooth exposed under snout
  • lower jaw tip to front nostril
Very elongate, body depth at anus 1.8% of total length; head and body 60 % of total length; snout rounded, slightly bulbous, overhanging, extends beyond lower jaw which ends just behind front nostril; front nostril a short tube near tip of snout, rear nostril inside mouth just before eye, in a short tube with a front flap; eye small, behind center of top jaw by a distance equal to the distance before the front nostrils; teeth conical, pointed, only the first central, upper front teeth exposed under overhanging snout when mouth is closed; gill openings crescent shaped, vertical, low on sides, widely separated under throat; gill pouch expanded; dorsal and anal fins forming ridges below the skin; dorsal fin origin on head, 1.5 snout lengths before gill opening; no pectorals; tip of tail finless, blunt and fleshy; no tail fin rays under skin of tail; skin with papillae on front of head and tip of tail; lateral line from head to near tip of tail, line straight between each pore; 159 vertebrae.

Color of preserved fish: Brown, paler below; dorsal fin ridge white

Length 53cm

Habitat and depth are not known as this species is only from the holotype collected fro the stomach of a White weakfish, Atractosion nobilis, on the Pacific coast of Baja.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California).
Depth Range Max: 3 m.
Depth Range Min: 0.5 m.
Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); bony fishes.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=25; Southern limit=25; Western limit=-113; Eastern limit=-113; Latitudinal range=1; Longitudinal range=1.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Demersal.
Global Endemism: TEP non-endemic; East Pacific endemic; All species.
Habitat: Sand & gravel; Beach; Soft bottom only; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove).
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; In & Offshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 53 cm.
Regional Endemism: Continent only; Continent; Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Vagrant.
Salinity: Brackish.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • McCosker , J. E. and B÷hlke, J. E., 1984., A review of the snake eel genera Gordiichthys and Ethadophis, with descriptions of new species and comments on related atlantic bascanichthyins (Pisces: Ophichthidae)., Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 136:32-44.
  • Rosenblatt , R.H. and McCosker, J.E., 1970., A key to the genera of the ophichthid eels, with descriptions of two new genera and three new species from the eastern Pacific., Pac. Sci., 24:494-505.


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