Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Mystriophis: Greek, mystrion = spoon + Greek, ophis = serpent. More on author: Richardson.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range ? - 40 m (Ref. 2683), usually ? - 40 m (Ref. 26999). Tropical; - 23°S
Eastern Atlantic: Mauritania (Ref. 4455) south to Walvis Bay, Namibia (Ref. 3972).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 140 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27121); common length : 80.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26999)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Brownish dorsally, lighter below (Ref. 3972).
Inhabits lagoons and coastal waters (Ref. 2683), from near shore to 40 m (Ref. 4455). Burrows in sand or mud (Ref. 4455). Feeds on small fishes, crabs and shrimps (Ref. 3651).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Leiby, M., 1990. Ophichthidae. p. 176-192. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. (Ref. 4455)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 21.3 - 28, mean 26.3 °C (based on 114 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.7500 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00126 (0.00052 - 0.00302), b=2.91 (2.70 - 3.12), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.67 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (61 of 100) .