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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Most commonly found in sand and mud, near coastal reefs at depths of 1 up to at least 10 m. Burrows into the sand tail-first until only its eyes and the top of its snout are visible. Sometimes seen with only its head or snout protruding from the sand. More commonly encountered at night but also seen with its head protruding out of the substrate during the day. Observed with cleaner shrimp Periclimenes magnificus on its head. The shrimp would swim off for short periods and then return to this species (Ref. 42180). Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans (Ref. 2334).
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Distribution

Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Japan, Taiwan south to Indonesia and Australia.
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Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Vertebrae: 135 - 140
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Size

Maximum size: 1250 mm TL
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Max. size

159 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 42180))
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Diagnostic Description

Coloration pale, overlain dorsally and along flanks with irregular brown smudges. A moderately elongate species with tail 51-58% and head 11-14% of TL; dorsal fin arising well behind pectoral-fin tips; pectoral fins not elongate; snout moderate, about 3.2 in jaw; jaws elongate; lower jaw extending beyond snout; nostrils in very short tubes in upper lip and closely associated; labial fringe well-developed but cirri not elongate on jaws, with cauliflower-like projections at tips; center of eye behind anterior 40% of jaw; interorbital space and top of head flat, dorsal head profile nearly flat from mid-head to snout tip; head pores inconspicuous; free sensory neuromasts not visible on nape; teeth conical. Numerous prominent barbels on both lips; outer row of maxillary teeth not visible when are closed (Ref 42180).
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 100

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 100
 
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Environment

reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 38 m (Ref. 42180)
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 100

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 100
 
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Trophic Strategy

Sand burrower, sometimes seen with only its head or snout protruding from the sand. Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans.
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Wikipedia

Brachysomophis cirrocheilos

Brachysomophis cirrocheilos, also known as the stargazer snake eel, is a benthic Marine fish belonging to the family Ophichthidae which refers to serpentine in shape fishes.

The stargazer snake eel is a large sized fish which grows up to 159 cm (62 inches).[1]

It is widely distributed throughout the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea included, and of the western Pacific Ocean.[2]

It inhabits the sandy and muddy bottoms close to coastal reef between 1 and 10 meters deep (3 to 33 feet).[3] The stargazer snake eel has nocturnal activity.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Brachysomophis-cirrocheilos.html
  2. ^ http://eol.org/pages/1012638/details#distribution
  3. ^ http://eol.org/pages/1012638/details
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