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Ophichthus longipenis McCosker and Rosenblatt, 1998
Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Ophichthidae   Ophichthus

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Ophichthus longipenis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Ophichthus longipenis

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Ophichthus longipenis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Ophichthus longipenis
Ophichthus longipenis
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Ophichthus longipenis

Main identification features
  • slender; snout long pointed
  • pores head and lateral linein dark spots
  • tail: 74-80 percent total length ;
  • large eye
  • pectoral long, slender, restricted base
Slender snake eel, Long-tail snake-eel

Elongate, slender; tail very long (74-80% of total length), tip a hard finless point; head 7-9% of total length; snout long and pointed when viewed from above; eye large, over middle of mouth; front nostril tubular under overhanging snout; rear nostril a hole above top lip covered by a flap that extends down to or below edge of mouth; a small tentacle between front and rear nostril; dorsal fin origin ~over pectoral fin base; pectoral fins long and slender, with restricted base; opposite and above upper half of gill opening; teeth pointed, small, numerous, in 1 row on roof of mouth, one row on sides of jaws, slender, curved, widely spaced.

Color: Preserved fish uniform tan, paler below; fine brown flecking on head, chin, inside mouth, flanks and back; pores of head and front of lateral line in dark brown spots; fins pale.

Size: 59 cm.

Habitat: sand bottoms.

Depth: 0-70 m.

From Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) to Panama.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 70 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: bony fishes; mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); octopus/squid/cuttlefish.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=21; Southern limit=8; Western limit=-106; Eastern limit=-79; Latitudinal range=13; Longitudinal range=27.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Demersal.
Global Endemism: Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic; East Pacific endemic; All species.
Habitat: Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Soft bottom only; Sand & gravel.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 59 cm.
Regional Endemism: Continent only; Continent; TEP endemic; Continental TEP endemic; Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • 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 versiˇn 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .á Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservaciˇn Internacional.
  • McCosker , J.E. and Rosenblatt, R.H., 1998., A revision of the Eastern pacific snake-Eel genus Ophichthus (anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) With the Description of Six New Species., Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci., 50:397-432.


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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Ophichthus longipenis McCosker & Rosenblatt , 1998

Slender snake eel Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Ophichthus longipenis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Google image Image of Ophichthus longipenis (Slender snake eel) Ophichthus longipenis
Picture by Robertson, R.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae (Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Ophichthus: Greek, ophis = serpent + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335 ) ;   longipenis: Name from Latin 'longus' foor long and 'penis' for tail.   More on authors: McCosker & Rosenblatt .

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; demersal; depth range 0 - 69 m (Ref. 31243 ).   Tropical

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Central Pacific: Mexico to Panama.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ?   range ? - ? cm
Max length : 58.7 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 31243 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Vertebrae : 176 - 184

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs over sand bottoms.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : McCosker, John | Collaborators

McCosker, J.E. and R.H. Rosenblatt , 1998. A revision of the Eastern Pacific snake-eel genus Ophichthus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) with the description of six new species. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 50(19):397-432. (Ref. 31243 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744 )

  Least Concern (LC)  ; Date assessed: 22 May 2007

CITES (Ref. 118484 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


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Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 23.4 - 28.9, mean 27.6 (based on 40 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00151 (0.00061 - 0.00377), b=2.90 (2.69 - 3.11), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  3.9   ±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 ):  Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .

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