Ophichthus bonaparti (Kaup, 1856)
Napoleon snake eel
photo by Adams, M.J.

Family:  Ophichthidae (Snake eels), subfamily: Ophichthinae
Max. size:  75 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range - 20 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: off Durban, South Africa, then from Mauritius to Indonesia; north to Japan, south to Australia.
Diagnosis:  Vertebrae: 156-164. Golden yellow to cream with 18-27 prominent black saddles, a few meeting below (Ref. 3972). Dorsal and anal margin with irregular spots and golden marbling and spots on snout and head (Ref. 3972). Body broadly banded with black and white (Ref. 48635). Description: Characterized by head length 11-13 in TL; body depth 28-38 in TL; preanal length 1.7-1.8 in TL; dorsal fin origin above posterior edge of pectoral fins; small pectoral fins, about 7.0 in head length; uniserial jaw teeth and vomer, sharply conical and slanting backward (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Inhabits sand flats of lagoon and seaward reefs to a depth of over 20 m (Ref. 37816). Burrowing species of inshore waters (Ref. 75154). Feeds on small fishes, and probably crustaceans (Ref. 89972). Only the head is usually visible from the sand during the day (Ref. 48635). Solitary in sand (Ref 90102).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 06 December 2019 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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 Not for publication.