sand snake eel
Ophisurus serpens(Sand snake eel)
Tuesday 25th November 2008

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Species Ophisurus serpens
Common Name       Sand snake eel
Photgrapher Juan Snyman
Dive Site Slipway
Date 25/11/2008
Time 20:03
Depth 5m
Size 1m






Remarks from East Coast Fish-Watch Project  (

Elaine Heemstra 

Hi Johan

I think John is probably correct to call your snake eel Ophisurus serpens, the sand snake eel. I have never looked at one from above before but they do have conspicuous pores [see our Coastal Fishes of SA book].


Oh boy, I love a quiz. I like them even better when I can pass the test, and this one I sorta can. It’s an ophichthid (obvious from it’s pore pattern and snout shape), and most likely an ophichthine. My best guess would be a young Ophisurus serpens, but I can’t see enough of the cheek pores to be sure. It’s not any Ophichthus that I’m familiar with, and its snout shape is pretty distinctive.

Cheers, John

John E. McCosker
Chair of Aquatic Biology
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco,
CA 94118-4503




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sand snake eel