Apterichtus caecus (Linnaeus, 1758)
European finless eel
Apterichtus caecus
photo by Rabeling, D.

Family:  Ophichthidae (Snake eels), subfamily: Ophichthinae
Max. size:  60 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; marine; depth range 0 - 85 m
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: Western and eastern Mediterranean, eastern Atlantic south to Azores, Madeira, and the Canary islands.
Diagnosis:  Vertebrae: 132-139. This species is distinguished by the following characters: tail 1.6-1.7, head 12-15, and body depth 56-83 in total length; preopercular pores 4 and there are 5 pores in supratemporal canal; teeth conical and uniserial on jaws, becoming biserial on vomer of large specimens, vomerine teeth 8-14; when fresh body ochre in color with numerous small dark brown spots, those spots forming a continuous mid-dorsal band, yellowish on ventral surface; the head with dark brown spots over a pale background, a prominent horizontal white patch beneath and behind the orbit; MVF 52-134, total vertebrae 132-139 (n=6) (Ref. 101270).
Biology:  Burrows in sand or mud on the continental shelf (Ref. 4455); usually in fine sand (Ref. 101270).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 20 October 2011 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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