Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Ophichthus: Greek, ophis = serpent + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335). More on author: Seale.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 235 - 490 m (Ref. 94547), usually - m (Ref. ). Subtropical; 0°C -
Southeast Atlantic: Namibia and South Africa
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 68.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3972)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Vertebrae: 162 - 167. This moderately elongate species of Ophichthus, subgenus Coecilophis is distinguished by the following characters: tail 62.5%, head 6.4-6.8% of total length, body depth behind gill openings 2.8-2.9% of TL; origin of dorsal-fin 2-3 pectoral-fin lengths behind pectoral base; pectoral fin rounded; posterior margin of orbit ahead of rictus; small head pores, SO 1+4, IO 4+2, POM 2+6; small, conical teeth, biserial on maxillary, uniserial on mandible, biserial anteriorly and uniserial posteriorly on vomer; yellow in color, darker dorsally, fins pale; mean vertebral formula 18/62/165, total vertebrae 162-167 (Ref. 84366).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Heemstra, P.C., 1995. Additions and corrections for the 1995 impression. p. v-xv. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Revised Edition of Smiths' Sea Fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 11228)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 8.9 - 11, mean 9.6 °C (based on 16 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00129 (0.00054 - 0.00308), b=2.92 (2.72 - 3.12), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±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
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .