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Encheliophis homei  (Richardson, 1846)

Silver pearlfish
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
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Encheliophis homei   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Encheliophis homei (Silver pearlfish)
Encheliophis homei
Picture by Tonozuka, T.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Ophidiiformes (Cusk eels) > Carapidae (Pearlfishes) > Carapinae
Etymology: Encheliophis: Greek, enchelys, = eel + Greek, ophis = serpent (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 30 m (Ref. 37816).   Tropical; 25°N - 35°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and the east coast of Africa (Ref. 583) to the Society Islands (Ref. 9710), as far north as Taiwan, but not Hawaii, and probably south to Tasmania.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 19.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6347)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal soft rays (total): 33-38; Anal soft rays: 53 - 61; Vertebrae: 116 - 128. Eel-like, moderate to shallow body depth; maxilla free and movable; cardiform teeth present; branchiostegal membranes partly or completely united; swim bladder with thin terminal membrane or bulb; lacking enlarged dentary or premaxillary fangs, dentary diastema, pelvic fins, and swim bladder rocker bone (Ref. 34024).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

This uncommon (Ref. 34024) pearlfish inhabits the coelom and respiratory trees of some holothurians, especially Stichopus chloronotus and Holothuria argus. It is apparently in competition with Jordanicus gracilis [= Encheliophis gracilis] for its preferred host H. argus. Although most occur singly, there is a tendency towards sexual pairing inside the host. Found to depths over 30 m (Ref. 9710). Stomach contents which include amphipod, shrimp and fish indicate non-parasitic, foraging habits (Ref. 6395). Leaves host at night to prey on small fishes and shrimps (Ref 90102).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Nielsen, J.G., D.M. Cohen, D.F. Markle and C.R. Robins, 1999. Ophidiiform fishes of the world (Order Ophidiiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of pearlfishes, cusk-eels, brotulas and other ophidiiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(18):178p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 34024)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest
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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 25.3 - 29.3, mean 28.5 (based on 3175 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00046 - 0.00225), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.7   ±0.63 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .