Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Leiuranus: Greek, leios = smooth + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 70 m, usually 0 - 10 m (Ref. 37816). Tropical; 40°N - 40°S
Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, and Mangaréva islands, north to southern Japan, south to northern New South Wales, Australia. Also recorded from Southeast Atlantic: South Africa (Ref. 3972).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 66.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602)
Occurs in sandy areas and seagrass beds of both lagoon and seaward reefs. Uses its stiff pointed tail to rapidly burrow backwards into the sand when frightened (Ref. 37816). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Feeds on sand-dwelling fishes and crabs and prawns. Sometimes fully exposed when searching for prey (Ref. 30874). Rises to the surface to spawn (Ref. 37816).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Rises to the surface to spawn. Once there, one or more males may seize a female by the back of the neck and remain attached for hours before spawning occurs.
Myers, R.F., 1991. Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.4 - 29.2, mean 28.1 (based on 2893 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.7500 [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
): 3.1 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .