Manetail Snake Eel, Ophichthus urolophus (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)

A tan snake eel with a pale underside, pale fins and anterior nostrils, and a dusky chin and snout.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Ophichthus urolophus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 May 2024,

Manetail Snake Eel, Ophichthus urolophus (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)

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Southwest of Imperieuse Reef to south of Scott Reef, Western Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in Japan and Indonesia, generally at depths of  40-420 m.


Vertebrae 134-139. 
Distinguishing characteristics: tail 53-58%, head 11-13% of total length and depth at gill opening 4.0-4.8% of TL; origin of dorsal-fin slightly behind pectoral-tips; pectoral fins spatulate, non-elongate and slightly less than length; large eyes, posterior margin of orbit ahead of rictus; posterior nostril a hole in upper lip and covered by a flap; small, inconspicuous head pores, SO 1+3, IO 4+2, POM 2-3+6-7 (usually 3+7); small, conical teeth, uniserial on mandible and vomer, few anterior teeth on maxillary.

Species Citation

Conger urolophus Temminck & Schlegel 1847, Fauna Japonica Vol. 4(14, 15): 260, pl.114 (fig.1). Type locality: Japan. 


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Manetail Snake Eel, Ophichthus urolophus (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)


Bauchot, M.-L., Whitehead, P.J.P. & Monod, Th. 1982. Date of publication and authorship of the fish names in Eydoux & Souleyet's zoology of la Bonite, 1841–1852. Bulletin de la Société Française d'Ichtyologie Cybium 3e série 6(no. 3): 59-73 

McCosker, J.E. 1977. The osteology, classification, and relationships of the eel family Ophichthidae. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 41(1): 1-123 figs 1-45 

McCosker, J.E. 2010. Deepwater Indo-Pacific species of the snake-eel genus Ophichthus (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae), with the description of nine new species. Zootaxa 2505: 1-39 

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1847. Pisces. 248-289 pls 111-128, 129 (in part) in Siebold, P. Fr de (ed.) Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4(14, 15).

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37068047

Depth:40-420 m

Habitat:Bottom dwelling

Max Size:62 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map