Brachysomophis henshawi Jordan & Snyder, 1904
Reptilian snake eel
Brachysomophis henshawi
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Ophichthidae (Snake eels), subfamily: Ophichthinae
Max. size:  120 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 1 - 35 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific.
Diagnosis:  Vertebrae: 128-134. With tail 45-48% and head 13-16% of TL; dorsal fin arising well behind pectoral tips; pectoral fins fan-shaped, not elongate; snout short, about 3.4 in jaw; jaws elongate, about 2.3-3 in head; nostrils in short tubes in upper lip and closely associated; cirri of labial fringe unbranched, short and stubby; flesh above and behind eye laterally elevated as a ridge; dorsal head profile depressed and constricted behind eyes, the flesh forming a lateral eave behind dorsal margin of eye; head pores and lateral-line pores apparent; free sensory neuromasts visible as rows of white spots on nape; teeth conical; coloration in life variable; fins pale except dorsal notably dark basally with a pale margin; lateral-line pores in distinct dark spots; numerous dark spots above lateral line on body (Ref. 42180).
Biology:  Found over sandy areas, usually near or within coral or rocky reefs (Ref. 42180, 75154). Feeds on fishes and crtustaceans (Ref. 89972). Benthic (Ref. 58302, 75154). At night, it is usually encountered with its head and even the anterior portion of its body protruding from the substrate at night (Ref. 42180). At day time, it often remains buried with only the tip of its snout and the top of its head projecting from the sand or mud (Ref. 42180).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 01.07.02
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 29.09.14

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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