Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 2 - 79 m (Ref. 58302). Tropical; 32°N - 1°N, 27°E - 77°W
Eastern Pacific: Hawaii (Ref. 6347) and from Baja California, Mexico to Colombia. Record from the Antilles by Ref. 26340 is not supported by Ref. 34024.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 11482); common length : 12.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 55763)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 153 - 160;
Vertebrae: 113 - 118. Eel-like, moderate to shallow body depth; maxilla free and movable; cardiform teeth present; branchiostegal membranes partly or completely united; swim bladder with thin terminal membrane or bulb; lacking enlarged dentary or premaxillary fangs, dentary diastema, pelvic fins, and swim bladder rocker bone (Ref. 34024). 19-20 precaudal vertebrae (Ref. 38407). Branchiostegal rays: 6-7 (Ref. 36487).
Uncommon species (Ref. 34024). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Adults inhabit the body cavity of pearl shells (Pinctada), pen shells (Pinna), and cockles (Laevicardium). Oviparous, with pelagic vexillifer stage larva, and benthic tenuis stage larva (Ref. 36487).
Also found in following shells in the Gulf of California: Megapitaria squalida, M. aurantiaca, Laevicardium elatum and Spondylus princeps (Ref. 38407).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous, with pelagic vexillifer stage larva, and benthic tenuis stage larva (Ref. 36487).
Nielsen, J.G., D.M. Cohen, D.F. Markle and C.R. Robins, 1999. Ophidiiform fishes of the world (Order Ophidiiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of pearlfishes, cusk-eels, brotulas and other ophidiiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(18):178p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 34024)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 19.7 - 28.9, mean 26 °C (based on 72 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00046 - 0.00225), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.5 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .