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: Apterichtus: Greek, apteros = without wings / (in this cases, fins) + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335); australis: Named australis in recognition of this species' distribution.. More on author: McCosker, Randall.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; benthopelagic; depth range 12 - 100 m (Ref. 75631). Tropical, preferred ?; 24°S - 27°S, 179°W - 109°W
Pacific Ocean: Known from the south Pacific island groups of Rapa, Pitcairn, Easter and the Kermadecs. Rapa: off Hiri Bay. Pitcairn Group: Pitcairn Island, Oeno Island. Kermadec Islands: Raoul Island. Easter Island: off east end of Anakena. Captured over sand with associated rock and coral reef bottoms
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 75631)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Vertebrae: 162 - 167. An elongate, finless species of sphagebranchin ophichthine (sensu McCosker 1977) with: tail 45-57% and head 5-5.5% of total length; 3 preopercular pores and 3 pores in supratemporal canal; teeth conical, uniserial on jaws and vomer; body mostly pale in preservative, creamy dorsally and reddish-brown ventrally with light and dark head markings in life; and mean vertebral formula 82–164, total vertebrae 162–167. Anterior nostril
within an elongate tube, approximately 1/2 the diameter of the eye, its base about midsnout
and anterolaterally directed when viewed from above. Posterior nostril opens in outer lip beneath anterior margin of eye. Branchial openings low, ventral; branchial region modestly expanded, creating a bulbous region in posterior half of head (Ref. 75631).
Occurs over sand with associated rock and coral reef bottoms and collected with ichthyocides and dredges at depths between 12-100 m (Ref. 75631).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Distinct pairing (Ref. 205).
McCosker, J.E. and J.E. Randall, 2005. Notes on the snake eels of the genera Apterichtus and Ichthyapus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) of the Central and South Pacific, with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 800:1-11. (Ref. 75631)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5001 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00148 (0.00060 - 0.00363), b=2.91 (2.70 - 3.12), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .