Ophisurus serpens  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Serpent eel
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Ophisurus serpens   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Ophisurus serpens (Serpent eel)
Ophisurus serpens
Picture by El Aoussimi, A.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae (Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Ophisurus: Greek, ophis = serpent + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range ? - 300 m (Ref. 9563).   Subtropical; 46°N - 41°S, 18°W - 179°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Circumglobal: Atlantic (northern coast of Iberian peninsula to South Africa, also Madeira and western Mediterranean) and Indo-Pacific: southern Mozambique to South Africa; north to Japan, south to Australasia.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 250 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3972); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3397)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Body olive green to brown above, paler below; head pores black; young silvery (Ref. 3972).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabiting the continental shelf on sand or mud bottom (Ref. 4455). Buried with only its head exposed (Ref. 27121). Also found in estuaries (Ref. 9563).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : McCosker, John | Collaborators

Bauchot, M.-L., 1986. Ophichthidae (including Echelidae). p. 577-585. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. volume 2. UNESCO, Paris. (Ref. 6522)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | DORIS | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishes of Iran | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00100 (0.00054 - 0.00184), b=2.90 (2.73 - 3.07), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.1   ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (76 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.