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Falsemoray eels

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© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Chlopsis apterus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Chlopsis apterus
Chlopsis bicollaris
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Chlopsis bicollaris
Chlopsis kazuko
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Chlopsis kazuko

© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0

Main identification features
  • front nostril tubular
  • no pectoral
  • ll: head only
  • rear nostril in upper lip
  • gill opening small, circular
  • dorsal, anal and tail fins continuous


These small eels are characterised by having the pectoral fins present or absent; the dorsal fin originating above the gill opening or just behind; the dorsal and anal fins are continuous the tail fin, the mouth reaching beyond the rear margin of the eye; and the rear nostrils opening downwards through the lip. The teeth are small and pointed, and in about three rows on the jaws and in two separate rows on the middle front of the roof of the mouth.

This circumtropical family contains 5 genera in 13 species, with 3 (endemic) species in one genus in our region. Most species are small (less than 20 cm). They occur in all tropical seas, but are seldom seen due to their cryptic habits. Many of the species burrow in sand or are found deep in crevices of the reef. Members of the family have sometimes been included in the Xenocongridae.

  • Beebe , W. and Tee-Van, J., 1938., Eastern Pacific expeditions of the New York Zoological Society, XV. Seven new marine fishes from Lower California., Zoologica, 23:299-312.
  • Böhlke, E. B., 1989., Fishes of the Western North Atlantic., Sears Foundation for Marine Research1:655pp.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Lavenberg, R. J., 1988., Chlopsid eels of the eastern pacific with a new species and descriptions of larval forms., Bull. Mar. Sci., 42:253-264.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Myers , G.S. and Wade, C.B., 1941., Four new genera and ten new species of eels from the Pacific coast of tropical America., Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions, 9(4):65-111.
  • Nelson, J.S., 1984., Fishes of the World (Third edition)., John Wiley and Sons:523pp.


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