Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Ophidiiformes
(Cusk eels) > Ophidiidae
(Cusk-eels) > Ophidiinae
Etymology: Lepophidium: Latin, lepus, leporis = rabbit + Greek, ophis = serpent (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 5 - 115 m (Ref. 91765). Tropical; 36°N - 26°S, 98°W - 43°W (Ref. 91765)
Western Atlantic: widespread along the Atlantic coast of the United States (from North Carolina), through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, to the coasts of South America (up to Uruguay); apparently absent in the Bahamas.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 27.3 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 91765); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 99 - 110;
Vertebrae: 69 - 74. Rostral spine long and curved, reaching tip of snout, without vertical basal component; peritoneum pale; no median basibranchial tooth patch; head extensively covered with imbricate rows of cycloid scales except for snout and throat; body tapering to point, dagger-shaped (Ref. 34024). Body dark gray or brownish gray without blotches; dorsal and anal fins dark, becoming gradually darker at the extreme blackish edge; pelvic fin blackish in anterior half and pale in posterior half; gill arch blackish or brownish; head covered with scales except for snout, lips, and branchiostegal membrane (Ref. 13608).
Common species (Ref. 34024). Found on soft bottom (Ref. 7251). Oviparous, with oval pelagic eggs floating in a gelatinous mass (Ref. 205).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Robins, C.R., R.H. Robins and M.E. Brown, 2012. A revision of Lepophidium (Teleoastei, Ophidiidae), with descriptions of eight new species. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 52(1):1-94. (Ref. 91765)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 21.8 - 27.8, mean 26 (based on 464 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00234 (0.00127 - 0.00433), b=3.04 (2.87 - 3.21), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.7 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .