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Author: Delaroche, 1809

Dalophis imberbis Delaroche, 1809

Diagnosis: body very elongate, snake-like, cylindrical; anus in anterior half of body. Snout short, subconical; eye small, under skin, at midpoint between tip of snout and rictus; lower jaw symphysis nearer to tip of snout than to anterior border of eye; snout, dorsal part of head and lips covered by villosities. Anterior nostril opening as a short tube in a small furrow on underside of snout, at level of premaxillary teeth; posterior nostril opening on upper lip, well behind first maxillary teeth, as an oval pore covered by a fold. Teeth conical, acute, slightly curved, uniserial in both jaws; 5-7 premaxillary teeth forming a V; vomerine teeth biserial anteriorly, uniserial posteriorly. Gill openings latero- ventral, slightly crescentiform. Dorsal and anal fins low, in a deep dermal groove; dorsal fin origin far behind gill openings at a distance longer than head length; pectoral fins absent or very rudimentar caudal fin absent, caudal extremity blunt and hardened. Lateral line with 68-70 preanal pores, 7 prebranchial, all with a slight collar; 3 supra-temporal pores. Vertebrae: total 148-159; abdominal 72-78. Colour: head, back and base of dorsal fin grey-violet, minutely dotted with black; belly and underside of head yellowish. Size: to 1.50 m.

Habitat: benthic on the shelf, littoral, burrowing in sand or mud at 20- 80 m. Food: no data. Reproduction: very few data; spawning in August-September in Bay of Algiers; eggs 2.1-2.6 mm diameter.

Distribution: eastern North Atlantic northward to Portugal, also Mediterranean. Elsewhere, southward to Mauritania.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Kaup, 1860c: 270, pl. 3 (fig. A) (Leptocephalus kefersteini pro parte) | Raffaele, 1888: 69, pl. 5 (fig. 2) | Grassi & Calandruccio, 1896b: 349 | Schmidt, 1912b: pl. 4; 1913: 10, fig. 7 | Grassi, 1913: 116, pl. 6 (fig. 13-22), pl. 7 (fig. 13); 1914a: 40, fig. 2; 1915: 704, pl. 2 (fig. 7) | Bertin, 1926: 332, tab. 6 | Fish, 1927: 307 | Ancona, 1931d: 132, fig. 120-127 | Ford, 1931: 996 | Sparta, 1937: 11, fig. 6-10; 1939c: 10 | Thomopoulos, 1956: 4, fig. 8-9 | Castle, 1969: 18 | Marinaro,1971: pl. 3, fig. 3.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Armless snake eel (Dalophis imberbis)