Physical Characteristics

Variations in squamation (scale pattern), counts of fin rays, vertebrae, and other skeletal features, and body coloration are

often useful in identifying ophidiid fishes. The band cusk-eel lacks scales on the top of the head and has 66-69 total vertebrae, 117-132 dorsal rays, 977-109 anal rays, and 19-21 pectoral rays. The dorsal and anal fins are continuous with the caudal fins. The pelvic fins, each consisting of two rays, are located far forward on the chin. The head and the body are tan in color, with no mottled patterns, blotches, or bands of pigment. The dorsal and anal fins are edged in black. This species is larger, attaining about 11.8 in (30 cm) in total length, and somewhat deeper bodied than other cusk-eels (genera Ophidion, Lepophidium, Otophidion, and Parophidion) found in its home range.

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