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Author: (Forsskål, 1775)

Muraenesox cinereus (Forsskål, 1775)

Diagnosis: body elongate, scaleless, compressed posteriorly; prominent conical snout; eye large, inter-orbital space about 8.2 in head; anterior nostril tubular, posterior nostril a simple opening nearer to eye than to anterior nostril; mouth large, rictus well behind eye. In lower jaw a middle row of prominent, sharp, tricuspid, erect teeth; median vomerine teeth sharply triangular in lateral view, compressed, with anterior and posterior basal cusps and the bases often in contact. Gill openings large, latero-ventral. Vertical fins continuous with caudal fin; dorsal fin origin over pectoral fin base or slightly before; dorsal finrays before a vertical through anus 66-78. Lateral line pores before anus 40-47. Vertebrae 145-159. Colour: head and body dark to grey/black, ventral side lighter; margin of dorsal and anal fins and tip of pectoral fins black. Size: to about 200 cm.

Habitat: over soft bottoms down to about 100 m, also in estuaries, in warm seas. Food: carnivorous (bottom-living fishes and decapods). Reproduction: spawning in August-September in Japan.

Distribution: a record in the vicinity of Tel Aviv-Jaffa (coast of Israel) (Golani & Ben-Tuvia, 1982). A recent immigrant from the Red Sea. Elsewhere, known from the Red Sea and throughout the northern Indian Ocean to Indonesia and northwards to Japan.

Daggertooth pike-conger (Muraenesox cinereus)