Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Lamnostoma: Greek, lamna, -es = a shark + Greek, stoma = mouth (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; reef-associated; depth range ? - 10 m (Ref. 86942). Tropical
Indo-West Pacific: Somalia (Ref. 30573) and southern Africa to India and probably most other parts of the Indian Ocean. Found in New Guinea (Ref. 7050) and Tahiti (Ref. 12792). Record from the Mascarenes by Castle (1984, in distribution map, Ref. 7245) could not be verified; probably erroneous (Ref. 33390).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 36.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3972); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7245)
Vertebrae: 132 - 141. Dark above lateral line, lighter below with light spots (Ref. 3972). Elongate, more or less cylindrical, slightly compressed body, with a hard tail tip; sharply conical head; large mouth, reaching well behind eyes; teeth on jaws small, sharp, recurved; vomerine teeth larger; gill-openings a longitudinal slit beneath throat, with an extra fold of skin alongside; dorsal and anal fins very low; dorsal fin origin just behind gill-openings (Ref. 4832).
Found in estuaries and inshore areas of turbid waters (Ref. 30573). Occurs in rivers (Ref. 12792). Biology not known. Probably feeds on small sand-dwelling invertebrates. Caught mainly in (dol) nets and by hand. Marketed fresh.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Castle, P.H.J., 1984. Ophichthidae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51). Volume 3. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 7245)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; bait: usually
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25.6 - 29.3, mean 28.5 (based on 3607 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00138 (0.00059 - 0.00325), b=2.92 (2.71 - 3.13), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±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 vulnerability (25 of 100) .