- Photo. (c) 2023 Chris Mason-Parker.
Scientific Name: Callechelys marmorata
English Name: Marbled snake eel
French Name: Anguille-serpent marbrée
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
A medium-sized tropical snake eel. Elongate body, 174-183 vertebrae, pectoral fins absent. Prominent fleshy ridge from middle of snout to base of dorsal fin.
Dentition: a pair of stout teeth at intermaxillary, surrounded by papillae jaw teeth minute, 8-10 in maxillary, 12-16 on dentary; vomerine teeth neatly
biserial, 3-4 pairs followed by 1 or 2 single smaller teeth.
Colour. Base colour yellowish white to cream overlain by chocolate to black spots on body and fins. Head with smaller, eye-sized spots and freckles on
chin. Fins with black spots onto bases, their margins black nearly throughout.
Smaller specimens (25 cm) have a slightly larger head and shorter tail, and generally less dark coloration.
Maturity: Unknown. Max length : 87 cm TL.
Habitat and Ecology:
Reef-associated, cryptic species inhabits shallow areas beneath loose gravel and sand (depth 2-37 m) usually with its head poking from the sand.
This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It has not been recorded in the artisanal fishery, but larger specimens may be subject
to the handline fishery.
This species is unmistakable in its coloration, in having biserial vomerine dentition, and a notable fleshy ridge between its snout and the origin of its
Photographed at Baie Ternay, Mahe.
Bray, D.J. (2021). Callechelys marmorata in Fishes of Australia, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2891 (07/04/23).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2023). FishBase. Callechelys marmorata. https://www.fishbase.se/summary/12889# (07/04/23).
Mason-Parker, C. et al. (2021). Callechelys marmorata in Reef Fishes of Seychelles. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd, UK.
McCosker, J.E. (1998). A revision of the snake-eel genus Callechelys (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) with the description of two new Indo-Pacific species
and a new Callechelyin genus. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 50(7):185-215.
McCosker, J. et al. (2022). Callechelys marmorata. The IUCN Red List 2022: https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2022-2.RLTS.T199340A2584816.en. (07/04/23).
Smith, J.L.B. & Smith, M.M. (1963). The Fishes of Seychelles. Department of Ichthyology. Rhodes University. Grahamstown.
Mason-Parker, C. & Nevill, J.E.G. (2023). Callechelys marmorata, Marbled snake eel. Seychelles Seatizens. www.seatizens.sc. https://seatizens.sc/species/callechelys-marmorata-bleeker-1854/
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