Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Ophidiiformes
(Cusk eels) > Ophidiidae
(Cusk-eels) > Ophidiinae
Etymology: Ophidion: Diminutive of Greek, ophis = serpent (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 75 m (Ref. 5217), usually 18 - ? m (Ref. 51183). Tropical; 33°N - 23°S, 98°W - 34°W (Ref. 34024)
Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Brazil. Absent from the Bahamas.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 23.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Head and body tan, unmarked except for dark margin to dorsal fin and, occasionally, anal fin; gill raker on first arch with 2 rudiments on upper limb; dorsal profile nearly straight from snout to dorsal-fin origin (not arched); body distinctly deepest at dorsal-fin origin; body slab-sided (Ref. 34024).
A common species ranging from coastal bays to 75 m depth (Ref. 34024). Inhabit soft bottoms (Ref. 5217). Oviparous, with oval pelagic eggs floating in a gelatinous mass (Ref. 205). Flesh is appreciated (Ref. 5217).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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. 125652)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 23.2 - 27.9, mean 25.7 °C (based on 202 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00275 (0.00131 - 0.00577), b=3.16 (2.98 - 3.34), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.7 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (20 of 100) .
Climate Vulnerability (Ref. 125649
): (0 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 69.6 [40.2, 120.3] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.745 [0.487, 1.173] mg/100g ; Protein = 16.9 [14.3, 19.5] % ; Omega3 = 0.124 [0.075, 0.203] g/100g ; Selenium = 40.3 [21.3, 72.1] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 96.8 [38.6, 234.5] μg/100g ; Zinc = 1.2 [0.8, 1.7] mg/100g (wet weight);