Oriental worm-eel

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Oriental worm-eel
Ophichthys orientalis Achilles 171.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Ophichthidae
Genus: Lamnostoma
Species: L. orientalis
Binomial name
Lamnostoma orientalis
(McClelland, 1844)
  • Dalophis orientalis McClelland, 1844
  • Ophichthys orientalis (McClelland, 1844)
  • Sphagebranchus orientalis (McClelland, 1844)
  • Lamnastoma orientalis (McClelland, 1844)
  • Lamnosoma orientalis (McClelland, 1844)
  • Lamnostomus orientalis (McClelland, 1844)
  • Lamnostoma pictum Kaup, 1856

The Oriental worm-eel (Lamnostoma orientalis), also known as the Oriental snake eel, the Oriental sand-eel or the finny sand-eel,[3] is an eel in the family Ophichthidae (worm/snake eels).[4] It was described by John McClelland in 1844, originally under the genus Dalophis.[5] It is a tropical, marine and freshwater-dwelling eel which is known from the Indo-Western Pacific, including Somalia, South Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Oman, Palau, New Caledonia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, and Vanuatu. It dwells at a depth range of 0 to 3 metres (0.0 to 9.8 ft), and forms burrows in sand and mud sediments in estuaries, rivers, and inshore turbid waters.[6] Males can reach a maximum total length of 36 centimetres (14 in), but more commonly reach a TL of 25 centimetres (9.8 in).[4]

The Oriental worm-eel is of minor commercial interest to fisheries; it is caught by hand and in nets, and is sold fresh, usually as bait.[4] Its diet consists of invertebrates, small fish and prawns. The IUCN redlist currently lists it as Least Concern, due to its wide distribution and lack of reported threats. It notes, however, that freshwater pollution occurs in its range, and could pose a threat to the species.[6]


  1. ^ Mailautoka, K. (2012). "Lamnostoma orientalis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T196426A2456599. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T196426A2456599.en. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 
  2. ^ Synonyms of Lamnostoma orientalis at www.fishbase.org.
  3. ^ Common names of Lamnostoma orientalis at www.fishbase.org.
  4. ^ a b c Lamnostoma orientalis at www.fishbase.org.
  5. ^ McClelland, J., 1844 (5 July) [ref. 2928] Apodal fishes of Bengal. Calcutta Journal of Natural History v. 5 (no. 18): 151-226, Pls. 5-14.
  6. ^ a b Lamnostoma orientalis at the IUCN redlist.