Genus Apterichtus

Species of the genus Apterichtus have elongate, cylindrical bodies pointed at both ends, with the head and trunk nearly equal to or slightly shorter than the tail. They lack fins, lack cirri on the upper lip, have the posterior nostril opening outside the mouth, usually on the upper lip, and have 3 or 4 preopecular pores and 3-9 supratemporal pores. The genus occurs worldwide in coastal tropical and subtropical waters.
Finless snake eels usually burrow in sandy substrates in tidepools and depths to 450 m.

Author: Bray, D.J. 2019

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Apterichtus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,


Hibino, Y. 2018. A new species of Apterichtus (Actinopterygii: Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from Tori-shima Island, southern Japan with notes on characters of supraorbital canal. Species Diversity 23: 219-223., open access

McCosker, J.E. & Hibino, Y.  2015. A review of the finless snake eels of the genus Apterichtus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae), with the description of five new species. Zootaxa 3941 (no. 1): 49-78.

Smith, D.G. & McCosker, J.E. 1999. Ophichthidae, pp 1662–1669. In: Carpenter KE, Niem VH (eds) FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. The living Marine Resources of the western central Pacific. Batoid Fishes, Chimeras and Bony Fishes Part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome.