Myrophis punctatus Lütken, 1852
Speckled worm-eel
Cutuca,  Congro,  Enguia,  Moréia,  Muriongo
Myrophis punctatus
photo by Giarrizzo, T.

Family:  Ophichthidae (Snake eels), subfamily: Myrophinae
Max. size:  35.3 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 100 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Bermuda and North Carolina (USA) to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, the West Indies, and the coast of Central America. Also throughout Caribbean (Ref. 26938). Northwest Atlantic: Canada. Records from the eastern Atlantic need confirmation.
Diagnosis:  Pale brown, with a fine peppering of black spots on the back and sides of the body; ventral surface is light (Ref. 30499).
Biology:  Inhabits seagrass beds from bays and mangroves to offshore reefs. Adults move to open sea to spawn. The species has considerable regenerative powers (Ref. 5521). Tidal creeks and brackish estuaries offshore to depths of 7 m (Ref. 26938). Reported from fresh water in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Mexico (Ref. 30499). Caught for bait fishery with use of ichthyotoxic plants (e.g. 'cunabi') along the north Brazilian coast (Ref. 34896).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 02 August 2011 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Along the north Brazilian coast, this species inhabits mangrove forests on sand-mud or even mud substrate (Ref. 34896). Used as bait in North Brazil artisanal fishery (Ref. 34896). Caught by using ichthyotoxic plants (e.g. Ichthyothere cunabi "cutuca" (Ref. 34896).

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 01.05.91
Modified by: Sampang-Reyes, Arlene G. - 05.04.10
Checked by: Torres, Armi G. - 04.08.94

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