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(including Heterocongridae Clofnam Suppl.: 355, 82b)

by M.-L. Bauchot and L. Saldanha

Very elongate fishes, usually snake-like body, scaleless, eyes well developed. Anterior nostril opening near snout extremity in a more or less flexible tube (except in Pseudophichthys); posterior nostril near anterior edge of eye. Conical or incisiform teeth; vomerine teeth, when present, usually no longer than the others. Gill openings lateral or sublateral. Dorsal and anal fins confluent with caudal fin; pectoral fins present, but pelvic fins absent.
Benthic on the continental shelf or slope. Carnivorous, feeding principally on fishes. Reproduction in warm hydrological season. Characteristic compressed transparent larval stage (leptocephalus) with an extended larval life, allowing transport by oceanic currents over great distances.

Genera 26; in Clofnam area 6.

Recent revisions; Kanazawa (1958, 1961), Blache & Bauchot (1976), Smith & Kanazawa (1977), Blache (1977—leptocephali).

Conger eels (Family Congridae)