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Smithiana Bulletin
The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
ISSN: 1684-4130
No. 7, 2007, pp. 3-7
Bioline Code: sm07001
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Smithiana Bulletin, No. 7, 2007, pp. 3-7

 en Luthulenchelys heemstraorum   check for this species in other resources , a new genus and species of snake eel (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from KwaZulu-Natal, with comments on Ophichthus rutidoderma   check for this species in other resources (Bleeker, 1853) and its synonyms
McCosker, John E.


Luthulenchelys heemstraorum genus and species novum, subfamily Ophichthinae, tribe Ophichthini, is described from a 472 mm eel trawled off Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in 450–460 m. Luthulenchelys differs from all known ophichthids in having the following suite of characters: an extremely elongate body, long tail, dorsal-fin origin in anterior trunk region, an elongate pectoral fin, posterior eye/jaw location, blunt snout, posterior nostril within upper lip, slender dentition, a single vomerine tooth, uniquely developed lateral-line ossicles, and five gill arches, with a very reduced fifth ceratobranchial. Several changes in taxonomy are proposed: Ophisurus lumbricoides Bleeker 1853, Ophisurus rutidodermatoides Bleeker 1853, and Ophichthus derbyensis Whitley 1941 are junior synonyms of Ophichthus rutidoderma (Bleeker 1853); Sphagebranchus lumbricoides Bleeker 1864 is a species of Yirrkala.

Ophichthidae, Luthulenchelys heemstraorum gen. & sp. nov., KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Ophichthus rutidoderma, Ophichthus rutidodermatoides, Ophichthus derbyensis, Yirrkala lumbricoides

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