Saurenchelys cancrivora

Author: Peters, 1864

Saurenchelys cancrivora Peters, 1864

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Saurenchelys cancrivora Peters, 1864 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body very elongate and slender, scaleless, tapering to a point; anus in first third of body. Head rather long; posterior nostril comma-shaped, near anterior eye margin. Upper jaw with prominent tip, longer than lower; rictus below posterior eye margin. Teeth in bands, longer on inner rows of jaws and much bigger in median row on vomer; palatopterygoid teeth present. Gill openings lateral. Dorsal, anal and caudal fins confluent; dorsal fin origin behind gill opening. Lateral line with 33-34 preanal pores; 3 supra- temporal pores. Vertebrae: total 209; abdominal 54. Colour: creamish in preserved specimens. Size: to 65 cm.

Habitat: benthic on continental slope down to 700 m. Food: no data. Reproduction: few data; leptocephali described in Gulf of Guinea (Blache, 1972, 1977), larval life about 6-8 months, but identification without satisfactory evidence (Smith and Castle, 1982).

Dlstribution: only doubtfully present in Mediterranean (leptocephali described as L. Saurenchelys cancrivora are in fact Facciolella oxyrhyncha). Elsewhere, eastern Atlantic off River Congo and northern Indian Ocean.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Blache, 1977: 176 (leptocephali).
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.