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Herpetoichthys fossatus (Myers and Wade, 1941)
MUSTACHIOED SNAKE-EEL
Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Ophichthidae   Herpetoichthys

Herpetoichthys fossatus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Herpetoichthys fossatus

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Overview
Main identification features Mustachioed snake-ee, lMoustached snake-eel

Elongate, cylindrical; tip of snout blunt, grooved just behind front and rear nostrils; front nostril tubular, with long dangling barbel behind; rear nostril a slit below eye; eye large; mouth opens at front, both jaws of equal length; teeth pointed, in 2 rows on upper jaw, 1 on lower jaw, 2 large canines at front of top jaw; tail shorter than head and trunk; gill openings vertical, curved, at sides; pectoral fins very small, behind upper edge of gill opening; dorsal low, origin at tip or or behind pectoral fin; anal fin low; tip of tail finless

Yellowish tan above, belly yellowish; row of large (paired) dark spots along top of back under dorsal fin; small, densely packed spots all over head, throat and nape; midline of side reddish-brown for entire length, or with a line of spots; lower body with either dark brown bars from midflank to ventral surface along body and tail, or a row large dark spots; dorsal fin may be unmarked or with elongate dark spots; anal and pectoral fins pale.

Size: 55 cm.

Habitat: sand bottoms.

Depth: 5-40 m.

Mouth of the Gulf of California to Peru; the Galapagos and Cocos.



Attributes
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); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ).
Depth Range Max: 40 m.
Depth Range Min: 5 m.
Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); bony fishes.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=26; Southern limit=-7; Western limit=-112; Eastern limit=-78; Latitudinal range=33; Longitudinal range=34.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Demersal.
Global Endemism: Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic; East Pacific endemic; All species.
Habitat: Sand & gravel; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Soft bottom only.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 55 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); TEP endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;


Names
Scientific source:

Links to other sites

References
  • 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.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen III. Vertebrados - Parte 2., FAO3:1201-1813.
  • Hildebrand, S.F., 1946., A descriptive catalog of the shore fishes of Peru., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., 189:1-530.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • 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.
  • Myers , G.S. and Wade, C.B., 1941., Four new genera and ten new species of eels from the Pacific coast of tropical America., Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions, 9(4):65-111.

Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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