Notes on Hawaiian Snake Eels (Pisces: Ophichthidae), with Comments on Ophichthus bonaparti

McCosker, John E.
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University of Hawai'i Press
The 22 ophichthid eel species of the Hawaiian Islands (including Johnston and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands) are reviewed, and a key to their identification is provided. New Hawaiian records of Indo-Pacific species include Callechelys catostoma and Ophichthus bonaparti. Callechelys lutea is reported from Johnston Island. Hawaiian and Johnston Island ophichthid species comprise: Apterichtus flavicaudus, Brachysomophis crocodilinus, B. henshawi, Callechelys catostoma, C. lutea, Cirrhimuraena playfairii, Ichthyapus vulturis, Leiuranus semicinctus, Muraenichthys schultzei, Myrichthys colubrinus, M. magnificus, Ophichthus bonaparti, O. erabo, 0. kunaloa, O. polyophthalmus, Phaenomonas cooperae, Phyllophichthus xenodontus, Schismorhynchus labialis, Schultzidia johnstonensis, Scolecenchelys cookei, S. gymnota, and S. puhioilo. Additional data are provided for the rare deep-water species Ophichthus kunaloa. The following synonymies are proposed: Ophisurus chrysospilos Bleeker, Poecilocephalus markworti Kaup, Ophichthys episcopus Castelnau, and Ophichthys garretti Giinther = Ophichthus bonaparti (Kaup); and Ophichthus retifer Fowler = Ophichthus erabo (Jordan & Snyder). The endemism and distribution of Hawaiian and Johnston Island ophichthids (22.7%) are discussed and compared with those of muraenid eels. Vertebral formulas are provided for all species to facilitate the identification of leptocephali.
McCosker JE. 2002. Notes on Hawaiian snake eels (Pisces: Ophichthidae), with comments on Ophichthus bonaparti. Pac Sci 56(1): 23-34.
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