Purplebanded Snake Eel, Ophichthus bonaparti Click to enlarge image
A Purplebanded Snake Eel at a depth of 5m, Off Pasar Wajo, Buton Island, Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia, 9 September 2012. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    bonaparti
    Genus
    Ophichthus
    Family
    Ophichthidae
    Order
    Anguilliformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 112 cm in length.

Introduction

The Purplebanded Snake Eel is a shy fish that can be recognised by its characterisitc pattern of orange and brown marbling and spots.

Identification

The Purplebanded Snake Eel can be recognised by the pattern of orange and brown marbling and spots on the head and 18 to 27 brown saddles across the body.


Purplebanded Snake Eel, Ophichthus bonaparti
A Purplebanded Snake Eel looking out of its burrow at Lion Island, Bootless Bay, Papua New Guinea. Image: Grey McNeil
© Grey McNeil

Habitat

The Purplebanded Snake Eel lives in burrows in soft inshore seabeds. It is sometimes seen by divers during the day, but will disappear down its burrow if approached too quickly.

Distribution

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. Anon, 1999. Coral Realm Species Profiles [online] http://www.coralrealm.com/sample4.html
  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, pages 1-2178.
  3. Masuda, H., K. Amaoka, C. Araga, T. Uyeno & T. Yoshino. 1984. The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokai University Press. Vols 1-3. Pp. 456. Pls. 1-378.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.