Teleostei (teleosts) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Ophichthus: Greek, ophis = serpent + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335); microstictus: Named for its minute cephalic pores (Greek 'mikros' for small and 'stiktos' for punctures); noun in apposition..
More on author: McCosker.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; benthopelagic; depth range 362 - 450 m (Ref. 84366). Deep-water
Western Central Pacific: off Tonga, Fiji, and possibly New Caledonia.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 48.9 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 84366)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Vertebrae: 151 - 156. This moderately elongate species of Ophichthus, subgenus Coecilophis is distinguished by the following characters: tail 57-59% and head 11% of total length; origin of dorsal-fin slightly ahead of pectoral-fin tips; moderately elongate pectoral fins, wedge-shaped, is shorter than jaw; posterior nostril a hole in upper lip and is covered by a flap; minute, inconspicuous head pores, SO 1+4, IO 4+2, POM 2-3+6; small, conical and numerous teeth, uniserial on vomer, mandible and anterior and posterior portions of maxillary, which are irregularly biserial; pale in color, slightly darker dorsally, irregular faint white patches beneath lateral midline, all fins pale; mean vertebral formula 13/56/154, total vertebrae 151-156 (Ref. 84366).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
McCosker, J.E., 2010. Deepwater Indo-Pacific species of the snake-eel genus Ophichthus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae), with the description of nine new species. Zootaxa 2505:1-39. (Ref. 84366)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 6.6 - 8.4, mean 6.9 °C (based on 8 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00044 - 0.00239), b=2.97 (2.77 - 3.17), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.7 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100).