Lepophidium pheromystax Robins, 1960
Blackedge cusk-eel
Lepophidium pheromystax
photo by JAMARC

Family:  Ophidiidae (Cusk-eels), subfamily: Ophidiinae
Max. size:  27 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; marine; depth range 27 - 165 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: along the northern coast of South America from Colombia to Cabo Orange, Brazil (north of the mouth of the Amazon); including Gulf of Campeche, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, shelf area from northern Puerto Rico to the US Virgin Islands.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 127-130; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 104-112; Vertebrae: 69-72. This species is characterized by the following: usual number of vertebrae, precaudal 15 (14), caudal 56-57 (54-58), total 71-72 (69-72); fin rays, dorsal 127-130 (125-133), anal 106-108 (104-112) pectoral 20-21 (22); pyloric caeca usually 3 (1-4), most often with 2 in one tier and 1 in second, when 4, they are 3+1; first gill arch with rudimentary rakers 2 on the upper arm, 4 (rarely 5) developed rakers on the lower limb, usually 2 (1-3) rudimentary rakers anteriorly on the first arch; total rakers usually 8-9; dorsal-fin origin between neural spines 2-3 (18 specimens) or 3-4 (11 specimens), in most instances is almost directly over neural spine 3 (Ref. 91765).
Biology:  Common species (Ref. 34024). Found on the continental shelf, on soft bottom (Ref. 5217). Oviparous, with oval pelagic eggs floating in a gelatinous mass (Ref. 205).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 29 January 2013 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 04.03.93
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 27.02.14
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 05.10.00

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