Ophichthus ophis  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Spotted snake eel
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Ophichthus ophis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Ophichthus ophis (Spotted snake eel)
Ophichthus ophis
Picture by Sampaio, C.L.S.

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).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; demersal; depth range 21 - 50 m (Ref. 2683), usually ? - 50 m (Ref. 26999).   Subtropical; - 25°S

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 210 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26938); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Body pale, dark band across back of head (Ref. 26938).

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

Western Atlantic: Bermuda and southern Florida, USA to Brazil. Lesser Antilles (Ref. 26938). Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Angola (Ref. 4455). Doubtful record from the western Mediterranean (Ref. 13729).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Lives in a permanent burrow, often in very shallow water. Heads protrude diagonally from the sand. Nocturnal. Feeds on octopus and fish (Ref. 5217). Bold and easily approached. Feared by fishers (Ref. 9710). Rarely consumed (Ref. 3795).

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

Böhlke, J.E., 1981. Ophichthidae. In W. Fischer, G. Bianchi and W.B. Scott (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Central Atlantic, (Fishing Areas 34, 47 (in part)), Vol. 3, [var. pag.]. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 3651)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30911)




Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; bait: usually
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00129 (0.00051 - 0.00326), b=2.94 (2.73 - 3.15), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.3   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (75 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.