Lepophidium staurophor Robins, 1959
Barred cusk-eel
photo by NOAA\NMFS\Mississippi Laboratory

Family:  Ophidiidae (Cusk-eels), subfamily: Ophidiinae
Max. size:  27.3 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  bathydemersal; depth range 180 - 485 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: apparently restricted to the deep bank area east and northeast of Nicaragua and Honduras in the western Caribbean Sea and north of the Yucatan Peninsula in the southern Gulf of Mexico; not in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 140-147; Anal soft rays: 120-125; Vertebrae: 80-83. This species is characterized by the following: usual number of vertebrae, precaudal 14-15, caudal 65-67, total 81-82 (80-83); usual number of fin rays, dorsal 142-145 (140-147), anal 120-125, pectoral 22-23); pyloric caeca usually 3 (rarely 4), 2 (rarely 3) in a single whorl, 1 in 2nd tier; first gill arch with rudimentary rakers 4 (rarely 3) on the upper arm, 8 developed (rarely 7) developed rakers on the lower limb, 0-3 (usually 0) rudimentary rakers anteriorly on the first arch; total rakers 12 (usually 11-14); dorsal-fin origin between neural spines 4-5 (11 specimens) or 5-6 (6 specimens) (Ref. 91765).
Biology:  Rare species (Ref. 34024). Reproductive strategy possibly similar to other members of this family featuring oviparity, with oval pelagic eggs floating in a gelatinous mass (Ref. 205).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 29 January 2013 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Torres, Armi G. - 06.08.94
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 09.09.14

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