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Type: Article
Published: 2015-12-24
Page range: 71–85
Abstract views: 46
PDF downloaded: 22

New species of the snake eels Echelus and Ophichthus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from Taiwan

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California 94118-4503, U.S.A.
National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Pingtung, Taiwan Institute of Marine Biology, National Dong Hwa University, Pingtung, Taiwan.
Pisces Taxonomy Teleostei Ophichthidae new species


Three new species of ophichthid eels, subfamily Ophichthinae, are described and illustrated from specimens collected at fish markets in Taiwan. Included are: Echelus polyspondylus sp. nov., which is unique in its vertebral number (172–183), dorsal-fin origin (behind gill openings), and coloration (anal-fin membrane black posteriorly); Ophichthus bicolor sp. nov., which is unique in its mean vertebral formula (18-64-158), dorsal-fin origin (well behind gill openings), dentition (teeth large and conical), and contrasting coloration (tan dorsally, white ventrally); and O. shaoi sp. nov., which is unique in its mean vertebral formula (11-69-159), and prominent lip barbels. A key to Taiwanese species of Echelus and Ophichthus is provided.