Halfband Snake Eel, Malvoliophis pinguis Click to enlarge image
A Halfband Snake Eel at a depth of 16 m, Bare Island, Botany Bay, New South Wales, August 2007. Image: Michael McFadyen
© Michael McFadyen

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    pinguis
    Genus
    Malvoliophis
    Family
    Ophichthidae
    Order
    Anguilliformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The grows to about 53 cm in length.

Introduction

The Halfband Snake Eel is a brown-blotched fish that is named after Malvolio from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

Identification

The Halfband Snake Eel is whitish with brown blotches on the head and brown bands on the body.

Habitat

It is a burrowing species that is found on soft substrates in continental shelf and inshore waters.


Halfband Snake Eel, Malvoliophis pinguis
A Halfband Snake Eel, Malvoliophis pinguis, photographed at a depth of 4m during a night dive at Camp Cove, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales on 20 August 2016. Image: Andrew Trevor-Jones
© Andrew Trevor-Jones

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia, occurring from the central coast of Queensland to southern New South Wales. It is also recorded from Lord Howe Island.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



References

  1. Grant, E.M. 1982. Guide to Fishes. Department of Harbours & Marine. Pp. 896.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, Pp. 1-2178.
  3. Kuiter, R.H & H. Debelius. 2006. World Atlas of Marine Fishes. IKAN. Pp. 720.