Encheliophis vermicularis Müller, 1842
Worm pearlfish
photo by Murdy, E.O./Ferraris, C.J., Jr.

Family:  Carapidae (Pearlfishes), subfamily: Carapinae
Max. size:  13 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 1 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Gulf of Aden to the Philippines and the Society Islands, north to the Ryukyus. Range extends to the eastern Pacific.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 19-27; Anal soft rays: 36-43. Eel-like, moderate to shallow body depth; maxilla adnate or nearly so; cardiform teeth present; branchiostegal membranes partly or completely united; swim bladder with thin terminal membrane or bulb; lacking enlarged dentary or premaxillary fangs, dentary diastema, pelvic fins, and swim bladder rocker bone (Ref. 34024). Lacks externally visible pectoral fins (Ref. 51068). Description: Characterized by translucent with silvery cheek and abdomen; large stellate melanophores on posterior half of body, becoming denser and darker towards tail; depth of body about 15 in TL; head length about 10 in TL; upper jaw with outer row of recurved cardiform teeth and inner row of conical teeth; single row of conical teeth in lower jaw and palatines; 6-7 conical and recurved teeth in vomer (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  A benthic species which occurs in inshore waters and inhabits coral reefs (Ref. 75154). Uncommon species (Ref. 34024). Holothurian parasite with male-female pairs in each host (Ref. 34024, 75154). Associated with holothurians including Holothuria leucospilota, H.scabra, H.lubrica, and Thelenota ananas (Ref 90102).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 15 August 2019 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 19.05.94
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 18.02.13

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