Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Apterichtus: From the Greek ??????? (apteron), without fins, and ????? (ichtus, more correctly written ichthys;
masculine), fish.. More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 0 - 85 m (Ref. 101270). Subtropical; 46°N - 4°S, 32°W - 17°E
Eastern Atlantic: Western and eastern Mediterranean, eastern Atlantic south to Azores, Madeira, and the Canary islands.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3397)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Vertebrae: 132 - 139. This species is distinguished by the following characters: tail 1.6-1.7, head 12-15, and body depth 56-83 in total length; preopercular pores 4 and there are 5 pores in supratemporal canal; teeth conical and uniserial on jaws, becoming biserial on vomer of large specimens, vomerine teeth 8-14; when fresh body ochre in color with numerous small dark brown spots, those spots forming a continuous mid-dorsal band, yellowish on ventral surface; the head with dark brown spots over a pale background, a prominent horizontal white patch beneath and behind the orbit; MVF 52-134, total vertebrae 132-139 (n=6) (Ref. 101270).
Burrows in sand or mud on the continental shelf (Ref. 4455); usually in fine sand (Ref. 101270).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
McCosker, J.E. and Y. Hibino, 2015. A review of the finless snake eels of the genus Apterichtus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae), with the description of five new species. Zootaxa 3941(1):49-78. (Ref. 101270)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 16.1 - 21, mean 19.1 °C (based on 58 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00126 (0.00053 - 0.00297), 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
): 4.1 ±0.64 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .