Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Ophidiiformes
(Cusk eels) > Ophidiidae
(Cusk-eels) > Ophidiinae
Etymology: Lepophidium: Latin, lepus, leporis = rabbit + Greek, ophis = serpent (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 29 - 399 m (Ref. 91765), usually 60 - 399 m (Ref. 91765). Tropical; 46°N - 21°S, 90°W - 73°W (Ref. 91765)
Western Atlantic: Georges Bank, Canada to the Florida Keys and the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 27.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); common length : 22.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 109 - 121;
Vertebrae: 73 - 78. This species possess the following characters: usually with 15 precaudal, 58-59 caudal, and 74-76 total vertebral counts; number of fin rays usually in dorsal 131-137, anal 112-117, pectoral 21-23; pyloric caeca 3 (2-4) in tiers of 2-3 caeca in the first and one in the second; total gill rakers on first arch 9-11 (8-13). Colour of head and body tan to brown, belly whitish; a conspicuous and diagnostic series of 14-23 pale spots, which are slightly smaller than the eye but larger than the pupil, extending from just behind the opercle to the caudal-fin base; a second series of smaller pale spots running along the anterior part of the body just below the dorsal-fin base (spots largely disappear in old museum specimens); dorsal and anal fins dark-edged posteriorly; gill chamber, gill bars, esophagus and the roof of the mouth behind the vomer and between the palatines blackish; stomach and hindgut unpigmented (Ref. 91765).
Uncommon species (Ref. 34024). Oviparous, with oval pelagic eggs floating in a gelatinous mass (Ref. 205).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Robins, C.R., R.H. Robins and M.E. Brown, 2012. A revision of Lepophidium (Teleoastei, Ophidiidae), with descriptions of eight new species. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 52(1):1-94. (Ref. 91765)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 11.8 - 26.5, mean 19 (based on 119 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00275 (0.00131 - 0.00577), b=3.16 (2.98 - 3.34), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .