Ophichthus rufus

Author: (Rafinesque, 1810)

Ophichthus rufus (Rafinesque, 1810)

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Ophichthus rufus (Rafinesque, 1810) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body elongate, snake-like, almost cylindrical; inter-orbital region convex. Anterior nostril tubular, directed downward, inserted in a depression of upper lip; posterior nostril an oval pore edged by a valvular fold opening in upper lip at level of anterior border of eye, visible when mouth is closed. Snout short and obtuse. Teeth small, conical uni- or biserial on both jaws, uniserial on vomer; some supplementary teeth on lower jaw symphysis; premaxillary teeth slightly bigger. Gill openings lateral, subvertical. Dorsal and anal fins well developed (may fold into a deep dermal groove), discontinuous posteriorly; caudal extremity stiff and finless; dorsal fin origin well behind pectoral fins, which are small. Lateral line with 57-58 preanal pores, 6-7 prepectoral; 3 supra-temporal pores. Vertebrae: total 151-159; abdominal 63-66. Colour: light brown or yellowish, darker posteriorly; belly and lower jaw whitish; fins uncoloured. Size: to 60 cm.

Habitat: benthic on the shelf, on mud bottoms. Food: no data. Reproduction: spawning in warm season (July-October); eggs 2.1-2.5 mm; leptocephali known but rare.

Distribution: Mediterranean.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Kaup, 1860: 270, pl. 3 (fig. A) | Raffaele, 1888: 69 | Grassi and Calandruccio, 1896b: 349 | Schmidt, 1912b: pl. 4; 1913: 10, fig. 6 | Grassi, 1913: 127, pl. 7 (fig. 22-24), pl. 14 (fig. 6 9); 1915: 703, pl. 2 (fig. 6) | Bertin, 1926: tab. 6 | Fish, 1927: 307 | Ancona, 1931: 138, fig. 133-136 | Sparta, 1937: 12, fig. 19; 1939c: 10 | Castle, 1969: 24.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.