Pacific worm eel

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Pacific worm eel
Scientific classification
M. vafer
Binomial name
Myrophis vafer
Jordan & Gilbert, 1883
  • Hesperomyrus fryi Myers & Storey, 1939

The Pacific worm eel (Myrophis vafer, also known commonly as the worm eel in the United Kingdom[2]) is an eel in the family Ophichthidae (worm/snake eels).[3] It was described by David Starr Jordan and Charles Henry Gilbert in 1883.[4] It is a marine, subtropical eel which is known from the eastern central and southeastern Pacific Ocean, including California, USA, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, and Peru.[5] It dwells at a depth range of 1 to 12 metres (3.3 to 39.4 ft), and inhabits sand and mud sediments. Unlike many species of eel, it does not form burrows. Males can reach a maximum total length of 46 centimetres (18 in).[3]

Young Pacific worm eels are drawn to lights at the sea's surface.[3] Due to its wide distribution, lack of known major threats and lack of observed population decline, the IUCN redlist currently lists the species as Least Concern.[5]


  1. ^ Synonyms of Myrophis vafer at
  2. ^ Common names of Myrophis vafer at
  3. ^ a b c Myrophis vafer at
  4. ^ Jordan, D. S. and C. H. Gilbert, 1883 (29 May) [ref. 10616] Description of two new species of fishes (Myrophis vafer and Chloroscombrus orqueta) from Panama. Proceedings of the United States National Museum v. 5 (no. 334): 645-647.
  5. ^ a b Myrophis vafer at the IUCN redlist.