Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Ophichthidae
(Snake eels) > Ophichthinae
Etymology: Echelus: Greek, egchelys, -yos = eel (Ref. 45335); polyspondylus: Name from Greek 'poly' meaning many, and 'spondylos' for vertebrae, referring to its having more vertebrae.
than any of its congeners.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated. Subtropical
Northwest Pacific: Taiwan.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 56.7 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 106143); 53.7 cm TL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Vertebrae: 172 - 183. This elongate species is distinguished by the following characters: tail 65-69%, head 7.6-8.3%, body depth at gill opening 1.8-2.3% of total length; tail tip flexible, the caudal-fin rays covered by skin, but confluent with dorsal and anal; dorsal-fin origin is nearly 1 head length behind gill opening; pectoral fin pointed, not elongate and well-developed; posterior nostril is within upper lip, opening into mouth; small pores, inconspicuous, SO 1+4, IO 4+2, POM 6+3;
teeth are small, numerous and conical, biserial on jaws, uniserial on vomer; body coloration tan dorsally, pale ventrally, fins are pale except anal-fin membrane which is black before tail tip; total vertebrae 172-183, mean vertebral formula 20-53-177 (Ref. 106143).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
McCosker, J.E. and H.-C. Ho, 2015. New species of the snake eels Echelus and Ophichthus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from Taiwan. Zootaxa 4060(1):71-85. (Ref. 106143)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .