Genus Neenchelys


A genus of moderately to extremely elongate snake-eels with the posterior nostril (an elongate slit) opening on the side of the head above the upper lip, and one or two preopercular pores (usually two), and minute to well-developed pectoral fins.

Species are found in the Indo-west Pacific from the Red Sea eastwards to Papua New Guinea, north to Japan, and south
to western Australia. Unlike to vast majority of ophichthids, some species of Neenchelys are mesopelagic as adults.

The genus contains at least nine species, with a single species Neenchelys cheni found in Australia. While the vast majority of snake eels inhabit burrows, some species in the genus Neenchelys are mesopelagic as adults.

Author: Dianne J. Bray

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Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Neenchelys in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,


Ho, H-C., McCosker, J.E. & Smith, D.G. 2013. Revision of the worm eel genus Neenchelys (Ophichthidae: Myrophinae), with descriptions of three new species from the western Pacific Ocean. Zoological Studies 52: 58-78.