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Family OPHICHTHIDAE Snake Eels and Worm Eels
66 genera/subgenera • 339 species       

Subfamily OPHICHTHINAE Snake Eels                       

Allips McCosker 1972    allos, another; ips, worm, i.e., a worm-shaped eel in addition to Evips, described in the same paper

Allips concolor McCosker 1972    colored uniformly, referring to uniform brown color in isopropanol

Aplatophis Böhlke 1956    aplatos, terrible or unapproachable, referring to fearsome appearance of large mouth and “extremely highly developed” dentition; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like shape

Aplatophis chauliodus Böhlke 1956    chaulios, referring to deep-sea genus Chauliodus (Stomiidae); odon, tooth, referring to prominent, tusky teeth that both genera feature

Aplatophis zorro McCosker & Robertson 2001    “for the remarkable coloration of the pore pattern along the face, reminiscent of the slash mark of the swordsman Zorro”

Aprognathodon Böhlke 1967    a-, without; pro-, in front of; gnathos, jaw; odon, tooth, referring to lack of anterior teeth in upper jaw

Aprognathodon platyventris Böhlke 1967    platys, flat; ventralis, of the belly, referring to flattened pre-anal region

Apterichtus Duméril 1806    a-, without, pteron, fin, referring to absence of fins; ichtus, variant spelling of ichthys, fish

Apterichtus anguiformis (Peters 1877)    Anguis, slow worm genus; formis, shape, referring to elongate, worm-like body

Apterichtus ansp (Böhlke 1968)    abbreviation for Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, where Böhlke worked and where holotype is housed

Apterichtus australis McCosker & Randall 2005    southern, referring to distribution in South Pacific (Rapa, Pitcairn, Easter and Kermadec islands)

Apterichtus caecus (Linnaeus 1758)    blind, referring to small eyes under skin, which Linnaeus thought were incapable of sight (“Oculos nullus video”)

Apterichtus dunalailai McCosker & Hibino 2015    Fijian (known from Vanuatu and Fiji) for a small eel, referring to its size (up to 289 mm)

Apterichtus equatorialis (Myers & Wade 1941)    equatorial, referring to type locality north of Barrington Island, Galapagos, near equator

Apterichtus flavicaudus (Snyder 1904)   flavus, yellow; caudus, tail, referring to “lemon yellow” color on posterior half of body in living specimens

Apterichtus gracilis (Kaup 1856)    thin, “thinner and more elongated” (translation) than Ichthyapus acutirostris

Apterichtus hatookai Hibino, Shibata & Kimura 2014    in honor of Kiyotaka Hatooka, ichthyological curator, Osaka Museum of Natural History, for his contribution to the taxonomy of Japanese anguilliform fishes

Apterichtus jeffwilliamsi McCosker & Hibino 2015    in honor of ichthyologist Jeffrey T. Williams, U.S. National Museum of Natural History, who collected type

Apterichtus kendalli (Gilbert 1891)    in honor of William C. Kendall (1861-1939), naturalist aboard U. S. Fish Commission schooner Grampus, which collected type

Apterichtus klazingai (Weber 1913)    in honor of M. D. Klazinga, the brave (“vaillaint”) chief mechanical officer of the Siboga, to whom the expedition, which collected type, owes much

Apterichtus malabar McCosker & Hibino 2015    referring to Malabar, NSW, Australia, type locality

Apterichtus monodi (Roux 1966)    in honor of French naturalist and explorer Théodore Monod (1902-2000), who provided type

Apterichtus moseri (Jordan & Snyder 1901)    in honor of Jefferson Franklin Moser (1848-1934), U.S. Navy, for his “valued services to ichthyology” as commander of the U.S. Fish Commission steamer Albatross, which collected type

Apterichtus mysi McCosker & Hibino 2015    in honor of Mysi Hoang, Curatorial and Administrative Assistant, California Academy of Sciences, for her many contributions to ichthyology

Apterichtus nariculus McCosker & Hibino 2015    diminutive of naris, nostril, referring to its minute anterior nostrils

Apterichtus orientalis Machida & Ohta 1994     eastern, referring to type locality in the Far East (Japan)

Apterichtus succinus Hibino, McCosker & Kimura 2016    amber, referring to its coloration and shape of head and nape markings (vivid reddish oval or circular spots)

Bascanichthys Jordan & Davis 1891    Bascanion (=Coluber), black snake genus (see below); ichthys, fish

Bascanichthys bascanium (Jordan 1884)    Bascanion (=Coluber), black snake genus, “which the body much resembles,” Jordan wrote in 1896, from the Greek baskanos, malignant

Bascanichthys bascanoides Osburn & Nichols 1916    oides, having the form of, i.e., “close to” B. bascanium

Bascanichthys ceciliae Blache & Cadenat 1971    matronym not identified, nor can identity be inferred from available information

Bascanichthys cylindricus Meek & Hildebrand 1923    cylindrical, presumably referring to more terete shape compared to B. panamensis

Bascanichthys deraniyagalai Menon 1961    in honor of paleontologist-zoologist Paules Edward Pieris Deraniyagala (1899-1976), Director, National Museum, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

Bascanichthys fijiensis (Seale 1935)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Suva, Fiji Islands, type locality

Bascanichthys filaria (Günther 1872)    etymology not explained but probably filum, thread, root of slender, thread-like genus of nematode worms, Filaria, referring to “considerably greater slenderness” compared to Ophichthys (=Basanichthys) longipinnis and O. (=B.) kirkii

Bascanichthys gaira Moreno, Acero P. & Grijalba-Bendeck 2016    named for Bahía de Gaira (Gaira Bay), Santa Marta, Colombia, type locality

Bascanichthys inopinatus McCosker, Böhlke & Böhlke 1989    unexpected, as the authors originally considered specimens of this eel to be an aberrant or geographically variant form of B. paulensis and “did not initially expect to describe this as a new species”

Bascanichthys kirkii (Günther 1870)    in honor of John Kirk (1832-1922), Scottish physician, naturalist and explorer, who presented specimens to the British Museum (Natural History)

Bascanichthys longipinnis (Kner & Steindachner 1867)    longus, long; pinnis, fin, referring to length of dorsal fin, which begins before gill slit

Bascanichthys myersi (Herre 1932)    in honor of Stanford University ichthyologist George S. Myers (1905–1985), who first noticed what is evidently an undeveloped pectoral fin at posterior margin of each gill opening

Bascanichthys panamensis Meek & Hildebrand 1923    ensis, suffix denoting place: Panama, type locality

Bascanichthys paulensis Storey 1939    ensis, suffix denoting place: São Paulo, Brazil, type locality

Bascanichthys pusillus Seale 1917    very small, allusion uncertain, perhaps referring to “slim” body or to “very minute” pectoral fins

Bascanichthys scuticaris (Goode & Bean 1880)    scutica, whip, presumably referring to elongate, whip-like shape

Bascanichthys sibogae (Weber 1913)    of the ship Siboga and Indonesian expedition (1898-1899) of same name, during which type was collected

Brachysomophis Kaup 1856    brachys, short, soma, body, allusion unclear, perhaps referring to moderately elongate body compared to more elongate body of most ophichthines; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like shape

Brachysomophis atlanticus Blache & Saldanha 1972    icus, belonging to: Atlantic Ocean, this species representing the first Atlantic occurrence of a largely Pacific genus

Brachysomophis cirrocheilos (Bleeker 1857)    cirrus, tendril; cheilos, lip, referring to numerous prominent barbels on lips

Brachysomophis crocodilinus (Bennett 1833)    referring to its imposing long jaws, which give the eel the appearance of a crocodile

Brachysomophis henshawi Jordan & Snyder 1904    in honor of ornithologist Henry W. Henshaw (1850-1930) of Hilo, Hawai‘i, to whom the authors are “indebted for several rare specimens”

Brachysomophis longipinnis McCosker & Randall 2001    longus, long; pinna, fin, referring to elongate pectoral fins

Brachysomophis umbonis McCosker & Randall 2001    is, adjectival suffix: umbo, rounded protuberance, referring to notable lateral projection of cheeks

Caecula Vahl 1794    blind, referring to skin-covered eyes, which are “so small that they are very hard to find in dead specimens” and “might easily be interpreted as pores” (translations)

Caecula pterygera Vahl 1794    diminutive of pteryx, fin, referring to presence of dorsal and anal fins compared to complete absence of fins on C. apterygia (=Apterichtus caecus), described in same paper

Callechelys Kaup 1856    kallos, beauty, probably referring to “handsome” (translation) appearance of C. guichenoti (=marmorata); enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Callechelys bilinearis Kanazawa 1952    bi-, two; linearis, lined, referring to two dark lateral stripes along body

Callechelys bitaeniata (Peters 1877)    bi-, two; taeniata, striped or banded, presumably referring to wide, dark brown stripe running from mid-head to tail, stopping at dorsal fin base below a narrow, pale stripe above base

Callechelys catostoma (Schneider 1801)    cato, inferior; stoma, mouth, referring to overhanging lower jaw

Callechelys cliffi Böhlke & Briggs 1954    in honor of herpetologist and Stanford University graduate student Frank S. Cliff, who captured type (J. C. Briggs, pers. comm.)

Callechelys eristigma McCosker & Rosenblatt 1972    eri, very; stigma, spot, referring to numerous dark spots on body and dorsal fin

Callechelys galapagensis McCosker & Rosenblatt 1972    ensis, suffix denoting place: the Galapagos Islands, only known locality

Callechelys guineensis (Osório 1893)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Guinea, former Portuguese colony that included Cape Verde Islands, type locality

Callechelys kuro (Kuroda 1947)    Japanese for black, probably referring to purplish-black coloration

Callechelys leucoptera (Cadenat 1954)    leucos, white; ptera, fin, referring to “creamy white” and/or “very clear” (translations) fins

Callechelys lutea Snyder 1904    yellow, referring to lemon-yellow mottling on upper body and dorsal fin

Callechelys maculatus Chu, Wu & Jin 1981    spotted, stained or marked, presumably referring to more than 10 indistinct black transverse bands on body

Callechelys marmorata (Bleeker 1854)    marbled, referring to chocolate to black spots overlain with large black blotches on body and fins

Callechelys muraena Jordan & Evermann 1887    being stouter and therefore more like the moray genus Muraena in form and color than C. (=Basinichthys) scuticaris and C. (=B.) bascanium

Callechelys papulosa McCosker 1998    blistered or pimpled, referring to small acne-like round pits on lower jaw, cheeks, nape and dorsal surface of head and branchial basket

Callechelys randalli McCosker 1998    in honor of ichthyologist John E. Randall (Bishop Museum, Honolulu), friend and collector of this and many of the specimens included in McCosker’s 1998 revision of the genus

Callechelys springeri (Ginsburg 1951)    in honor of shark expert Stewart Springer (1906-1991), who obtained type from stomach of shark

Caralophia Böhlke 1955    kara, head; lophia, mane, i.e., back fin, referring to anterior origin of dorsal fin

Caralophia loxochila Böhlke 1955    loxos, slanting or oblique; cheilos, lip or rim, referring to conspicuous flange on either side of lower jaw

Chauligenion McCosker & Okamoto 2016    chaulios, prominent; genion, chin, referring to obtrusive lower jaw

Chauligenion camelopardalis McCosker & Okamoto 2016    camelus, camel; pardus, leopard, together forming ancient name of giraffe, referring to giraffe-like coloration

Cirrhimuraena Kaup 1856    cirrus, tendril, referring to short, irregular barbels on edge of upper lip; muraena, moray (which it is not), allusion unknown, possibly used as a standard suffix for an eel

Subgenus Cirrhimuraena                

Cirrhimuraena calamus (Günther 1870)    reed, possibly referring to brownish, thin, reed-like shape, with tail twice length of body

Cirrhimuraena cheilopogon (Bleeker 1860)    cheilos, lip; pogon, beard, referring to numerous barbels on upper lip

Cirrhimuraena chinensis Kaup 1856    ensis, suffix denoting place: China, type locality

Cirrhimuraena paucidens Herre & Myers 1931    paucus, few or little; dens, teeth, presumably referring to distinctive “group of a few small teeth” on maxillary plate beneath tip of snout and/or single rows of small teeth each on vomer and mandible

Cirrhimuraena tapeinoptera Bleeker 1863    tapeinos, lowly; ptera, fin, allusion unclear, possibly referring to poorly developed dorsal and anal fins compared to Ophisurus (=Cirrhimuraena) cheilopogon and an unknown (name only) species, Ophisurus polyodon

Cirrhimuraena yuanding Tang & Zhang 2003    in honor of Yuang-Ding, “China’s leading authority on ichthyology and fishery science”

Subgenus Jenkinsiella Jordan & Evermann 1905    iella, diminutive connoting endearment: in honor of Oliver Peebles Jenkins (1850-1935), physiology professor, Stanford University, who described many Hawaiian fishes, including type of subgenus, Microdonophis macgregori (=Cirrhimuraena playfairii)

Cirrhimuraena inhacae (Smith 1962)    of Inhaca, Mozambique, type locality

Cirrhimuraena oliveri (Seale 1910)    patronym not identified but probably in honor of physiology professor Oliver Peebles Jenkins (1850-1935), who worked with Seale at Stanford University and described many Hawaiian fishes

Cirrhimuraena playfairii (Günther 1870)    in honor of Lieut.-Col. Robert Lambert Playfair (1828-1899), Consul General at Algiers, who presented type to the British Museum (Natural History)

Incertae sedis                    

Cirrhimuraena orientalis Nguyen 1993    eastern, probably referring to Vietnamese distribution

Cirricaecula Schultz 1953    cirri, referring to cirri on edges of upper lip; closely related to Caecula

Cirricaecula johnsoni Schultz 1953    in honor of oceanographer Martin W. Johnson (1893-1984), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who participated in Schultz’ 1946 field work

Cirricaecula macdowelli McCosker & Randall 1993    in honor of Michael McDowell (note latinization of “Mc” to “Mac”), “tour operator and bon vivant, who has taken us to remote outposts in search of rare specimens” and “diver, explorer and friend”

Dalophis Rafinesque 1810    dal, meaning unknown, possibly derived from Dalmatia, then a country on the east side of the Adriatic Sea, within range of type, Dalophis serpa (=imberbis); ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like shape

Dalophis boulengeri (Blache, Cadenat & Stauch 1970)    in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist George A. Boulenger (1858-1937), who first reported the presence of this eel off the coast of West Africa in 1915 but incorrectly identified it as Sphagebranchus (=Dalophis) cephalopeltis

Dalophis cephalopeltis (Bleeker 1863)    cephalus, head; pelta, small shield, allusion not evident; name apparently coined by zoologist Hermann Schlegel (1804-1884) in an unpublished manuscript

Dalophis imberbis (Delaroche 1809)    beardless, referring to absence of cirri on snout

Dalophis multidentatus Blache & Bauchot 1972    multi-, many; dentatus, toothed, presumably referring to more teeth compared to D. imberbis and D. boulengeri

Dalophis obtusirostris Blache & Bauchot 1972    obtusus, blunt; rostris, snout, presumably referring to less prominent snout compared to congeners

Echelus Rafinesque 1810    presumably a variant spelling of echis, viper or adder, referring to snake-like appearance

Echelus myrus (Linnaeus 1758)    ancient name of this species

Echelus pachyrhynchus (Vaillant 1888)    pachys, thick; rostris, snout, probably referring to short, rounded and “swollen” or “bulging” (translation) snout

Echelus polyspondylus McCosker & Ho 2015    poly, many; spondylos, vertebrae, having more vertebrae than any of its congeners

Echelus uropterus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    oura, tail; pterus, fin, referring to confluence of dorsal and anal fins with caudal fin, which, in effect, creates appearance of one long tail fin extending around body

Echiophis Kaup 1856    echis, adder or viper; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, both referring to snake-like appearance

Echiophis brunneus (Castro-Aguirre & Suárez de los Cobos 1983)    brown, referring to uniformly dark brown coloration

Echiophis intertinctus (Richardson 1848)    inter, between; tinctus, colored, allusion not evident

Echiophis mordax (Poey 1860)    biting, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to stronger, larger teeth compared to smaller teeth of two congrid eels Poey said were clearly different: Conger analis (=Arisoma anale) and C. impressus (=Ariosoma balearicum)

Echiophis punctifer (Kaup 1860)    punctum, spot; fero, to carry or bear, referring to numerous small brown spots on body

Ethadophis Rosenblatt & McCosker 1970    ethas, customary or ordinary, referring to “lack of outstanding morphological characters”; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Ethadophis akkistikos McCosker & Böhlke 1984    Greek for pretending indifference, referring to coy appearance of face

Ethadophis byrnei    Rosenblatt & McCosker 1970    in honor of the late John Byrne, a San Diego resident who was walking on the beach during low tide when the type specimen stuck its head out of the wet sand; he grabbed it and brought it to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where it was identified as a new species (and remains the only known specimen; John E. McCosker, pers. comm.)

Ethadophis merenda Rosenblatt & McCosker 1970    Latin for afternoon snack, referring to type being taken from the stomach of a White Sea Bass, Cynoscion nobilis

Evips McCosker 1972    eu-, good, Latinized to ev– for euphony; ips, worm, referring to general worm-like appearance of this “charming eel”

Evips percinctus McCosker 1972    per-, very; cinctus, girdle or belt, referring to 16 brown saddles on upper half of body

Gordiichthys Jordan & Davis 1891    Gordius, horsehair worm genus, named after Gordius, king whose complicated (“Gordian”) knot was cut by Alexander, referring to thin, elongate body; ichthys, fish

Gordiichthys combibus McCosker & Lavenberg 2001    combibe, to drink with a companion, referring to sibling nature of this eastern Pacific species to its Atlantic congener G. randalli

Gordiichthys ergodes McCosker, Böhlke & Böhlke 1989    irksome or troublesome, referring to “difficulties this new species has created with our previous concept of generic limits” between Gordiichthys, Allips, Phaenomonas and Ethadophis

Gordiichthys irretitus Jordan & Davis 1891    entangled, probably referring to appearance of partially digested type specimen found in the “spewings” of snappers (Lutjanus aya)

Gordiichthys leibyi McCosker & Böhlke 1984    in honor of Mark M. Leiby, friend and apodal ichthyologist

Gordiichthys randalli McCosker & Böhlke 1984    in honor of ichthyologist John E. Randall (Bishop Museum, Honolulu), friend and collector of type specimens

Hemerorhinus Weber & de Beaufort 1916    hemeros, cultivated; rhinos, snout, allusion unclear, perhaps referring to pointed snout projecting beyond mouth

Hemerorhinus heyningi (Weber 1913)    patronym (also spelled heijnigi) not identified but clearly in honor of C. E. Hoorens van Heyningen, an officer aboard the Siboga expedition that collected type

Hemerorhinus opici Blache & Bauchot 1972    in honor of M. P. Opic, who provided the illustrations for Blache’s African anguilliform monographs

Herpetoichthys Kaup 1856    herpeton, snake, referring to snake-like appearance; ichthys, fish

Herpetoichthys fossatus (Myers & Wade 1941)    dug, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to burrowing behavior in soft-bottom habitats

Herpetoichthys regius (Richardson 1848)    royal, perhaps referring to distinctive coloration (brown markings on pale background), but since type had “been immersed in spirits many years, and many of its markings have doubtless disappeared,” such a presumption can easily be questioned

Hyphalophis McCosker & Böhlke 1982    hyphalos, submerged under the sea, referring to “extraordinary” depth of capture (293-366 m) of type; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Hyphalophis devius McCosker & Böhlke 1982    off the main way or highway, referring to two unique characteristics: quadriserial rows of maxillary dentition and a lateral line that abruptly arches and abuts lateral line from other side on top of head

Ichthyapus Brisout de Barneville 1847    ichthys, fish; apous, without foot, referring to lack of fins

Ichthyapus acuticeps (Barnard 1923)   acutus, pointed; ceps, head, referring to pointed snout and, hence, pointed head

Ichthyapus acutirostris Brisout de Barneville 1847    acutus, pointed; rostris, snout, referring to pointed snout

Ichthyapus insularis McCosker 2004    of an island, referring to Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean, where it appears to be endemic

Ichthyapus keramanus (Machida, Hashimoto & Yamakawa 1997)    anus, belonging to: known only from type locality, Kerama Island, Okinawa, Japan

Ichthyapus ophioneus (Evermann & Marsh 1900)    eus, having the quality of: ophis, snake, referring to snake-like appearance

Ichthyapus platyrhynchus (Gosline 1951)    platy, flat; rhynchus, snout, referring to how snout forms a flattened triangle in cross section

Ichthyapus selachops (Jordan & Gilbert 1882)    selachos, shark; ops, face, referring to “remarkably shark-like” physiognomy created by nostrils on lower side of snout, which projects over mouth

Ichthyapus vulturis (Weber & de Beaufort 1916)    named after the Dutch Government Fisheries Investigation ship Gier (=vulture), which collected type

Kertomichthys McCosker & Böhlke 1982    kertomios, mocking, referring to facial expression (down-turned snout and forward eye position) of type species and difficulty it has caused ichthyologists trying to understand its relationships; ichthys, fish

Kertomichthys blastorhinos (Kanazawa 1963)    blastos, bud; rhinos, nose, referring to clavate snout

Lamnostoma Kaup 1856    etymology not explained, presumably lamno, voracious fish or shark; stoma, mouth, referring to voracious or shark-like appearance of mouth

Lamnostoma kampeni (Weber & de Beaufort 1916)    in honor of herpetologist Pieter Nicolaas Van Kampen (1878-1937), who collected type

Lamnostoma mindora (Jordan & Richardson 1908)    named after Mindoro Island, Philippines, type locality

Lamnostoma orientalis (McClelland 1844)    eastern, typically the Far East or Orient, probably referring to Coromandel Coast of India, type locality

Lamnostoma polyophthalma (Bleeker 1853)    poly, many; ophthalmos, eye, probably referring to double row of yellow, round spots on head and nape

Lamnostoma taylori (Herre 1923)    in honor of herpetologist Edward H. Taylor (1889-1978), “student of Philippine reptiles and amphibia” (and Chief of Fisheries in the Philippines)

Leiuranus Bleeker 1853    leios, smooth; urano-, relating to roof of mouth, referring to toothless vomer

Leiuranus semicinctus (Lay & Bennett 1839)    semi-, half; cinctus, belt or girdle, referring to “fascia-like patches of dark-brown, which do not surround the body, but are interrupted on the under surface”

Leiuranus versicolor (Richardson 1848)    variegated or of various colors, referring to 27 purplish-brown rings, which are further divided more or less completely by narrower white lines or imperfect circles

Leptenchelys Myers & Wade 1941    leptos, thin, referring to elongate body; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Leptenchelys vermiformis Myers & Wade 1941    vermis, worm; formis, shape, referring to wormlike shape

Letharchus Goode & Bean 1882    lethos, to forget; archos, anus, referring to lack of anal fin

Letharchus aliculatus McCosker 1974    atus, provided with: alicula, a light upper garment, referring to cream and pale tan coloration of body and fins

Letharchus rosenblatti McCosker 1974    in honor of Richard H. Rosenblatt (1930-2014), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, for contributions to the study of apodal fishes and the education of ichthyologists

Letharchus velifer Goode & Bean 1882    velum, sail; fero, to bear, referring to unusually high dorsal fin, height at nape equaling distance from tip of lower jaw to angle of mouth

Lethogoleos McCosker & Böhlke 1982    lethos, to forget; goleos, hole or pricking, referring to unique absence of several cephalic pores

Lethogoleos andersoni McCosker & Böhlke 1982    in honor of William D. Anderson, Jr., Grice Marine Biological Laboratory (Charleston, South Carolina, USA), friend and ichthyologist, who made specimens available to authors

Leuropharus Rosenblatt & McCosker 1970    leuros, smooth; pharos, plow, referring to toothless vomerine shaft

Leuropharus lasiops Rosenblatt & McCosker 1970    lasios, bearded; ops, face, referring to numerous papillae on snout and lips

Luthulenchelys McCosker 2007    in honor of Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli (ca. 1898-1967) of KwaZulu-Natal, Africa’s first winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and former President of the African National Congress; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Luthulenchelys heemstraorum McCosker 2007    orum, commemorative suffix, plural: in honor of ichthyologists Phil and Elaine Heemstra, for their “efforts to understand, illustrate, and explain the fishes of the Indian Ocean to scientists and the general public”

Malvoliophis Whitley 1934    Malvolio, Lady Olivia’s steward in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, referring to banded coloration of M. pinguis, suggestive of cross-gartered legs and yellow socks worn by him; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Malvoliophis pinguis (Günther 1872)    fat, possibly referring to body being shorter than tail

Myrichthys Girard 1859    referring to affinity to the genus Myrus (=Echelus); ichthys, fish

Myrichthys aspetocheiros McCosker & Rosenblatt 1993    aspetos, unspeakably great; cheiros, hand, referring to elongate pectoral fin, longer than snout

Myrichthys breviceps (Richardson 1848)    brevis, short; ceps, head, “remarkable for its short blunt head”

Myrichthys colubrinus (Boddaert 1781)    snake-like, referring to extreme similarity to banded sea snakes that occupy shallow coral reefs over much (but not all) of its range

Myrichthys maculosus (Cuvier 1816)    spotted, referring to brown to brownish-black spots, usually larger than eye, on head and body

Myrichthys magnificus (Abbott 1860)    splendid, presumably referring to attractive appearance of chocolate-brown spots

Myrichthys ocellatus (Lesueur 1825)    having little eyes, referring to eyelike spots (dark with small bright centers) on body

Myrichthys paleracio McCosker & Allen 2012    named for underwater photographer Peri Paleracio, who collected type

Myrichthys pantostigmius Jordan & McGregor 1898    panto-, whole or entire; stigma, spot, referring to numerous large brown to brownish-black spots along sides, at base of dorsal fin, and “covering the whole belly”

Myrichthys pardalis (Valenciennes 1839)    like a leopard, presumably referring to brown spots with bright centers on body

Myrichthys tigrinus Girard 1859    like a tiger, allusion not explained, presumably referring to rounded, dark spots on a brownish olive background [although tigers are striped and not spotted, tigrinus is sometimes used to connote “tiger-like spots”]

Myrichthys xysturus (Jordan & Gilbert 1882)    xyston, spike; oura, tail, referring to pointed tail with sharp tip

Mystriophis Kaup 1856    mystrion, spoon, referring to snout shape of M. rostellatus; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Mystriophis crosnieri Blache 1971    in honor of carcinologist Alain Crosnier, for his many collections [he initiated many deepwater trawl surveys, see Dipturus crosnieri, Rajidae] and “many informed opinions” (translation)

Mystriophis porphyreus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    purplish, referring to purple-brown dorsal coloration in life

Mystriophis rostellatus (Richardson 1848)    beaked, presumably referring to narrow, rounded snout

Ophichthus Ahl 1789    ophis, snake, referring to snake-like appearance; ichthys, fish

Subgenus Ophichthus

Ophichthus maculatus (Rafinesque 1810)    spotted, referring to scattered spots on body

Ophichthus ophis (Linnaeus 1758)    ophis, snake, referring to snake-like appearance

Ophichthus rugifer Jordan & Bollman 1890    ruga, wrinkle or crease; fero, to bear, referring to longitudinal striations obvious on larger specimens

Ophichthus triserialis (Kaup 1856)    tri-, three; serialis, rowed, referring to two rows of large, round spots on dorsal fin and lateral line, and a third row going as far as anus

Ophichthus zophochir Jordan & Gilbert 1882    zophos, darkness; cheiros, hand, referring to occasionally black pectoral fin on adults

Subgenus Centrurophis Kaup 1856    centrum, point, presumably referring to hard caudal tip (sharply pointed in some species, blunt in others); ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Ophichthus bonaparti (Kaup 1856)    in honor of biologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte (1803-1857), who supplied type

Ophichthus brasiliensis (Kaup 1856)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, type locality (though possibly erroneous)

Ophichthus cephalozona Bleeker 1864    cephalus, head; zonus, band, referring to broad black band across nape

Subgenus Coecilophis Kaup 1856    coecil-, etymology not explained and meaning unknown, perhaps a variant spelling of caecilian, the snake-like amphibian, which type species, C. comphor (=O. apicalis), superficially resembles; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Ophichthus alleni McCosker 2010    in honor of Gerald R. Allen (b. 1942), Western Australia Museum (Perth), for his “numerous and diverse contributions to the knowledge of fishes of Australia and beyond”

Ophichthus aniptocheilos McCosker 2010    aniptos, unwashed; cheilos, lips, referring to brown speckling along edge of lips

Ophichthus apicalis (Anonymous [Bennett] 1830)    apex or point, referring to how dorsal, anal and caudal fins converge to form a pointed tail

Ophichthus brachynotopterus Karrer 1982    brachys, short; notos, back; pterus, fin, presumably referring to posterior dorsal-fin origin, making for a shorter dorsal fin

Ophichthus congroides McCosker 2010    -oides, having the form of: referring to similarity of posterior nostril, which opens within outer lip, to that of some congrids

Ophichthus echeloides (D’Ancona 1928)    oides, having the form of: described from leptocephalus presumed to be in the family Echelidae (=Ophichthidae)

Ophichthus exourus McCosker 1999    ending in a tapered point, referring to how robust body tapers evenly to tail tip

Ophichthus genie McCosker 1999    in honor of Eugenia (Genie) B. Böhlke (1929-2001), Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, “friend and contributor to knowledge of apodal fishes”

Ophichthus hirritus McCosker 2010    to snarl like a dog, referring to how jaw teeth are exposed and lips do not meet when mouth is closed

Ophichthus humanni McCosker 2010    in honor of Paul Humann, underwater photographer, author and friend, who has “generously aided ichthyologists with his photographs and observations”

Ophichthus ishiyamorum McCosker 2010    orum, commemorative suffix, plural: in honor of philanthropists Nelson and Patsy Ishiyama for their interest in, and generous support of, ichthyological research

Ophichthus kunaloa McCosker 1979    Kuna Loa, the Long Eel, of ancient Hawaiian legends, whose cut tail evolved into to the common conger eel and whose blood gave rise to all other Hawaiian eels (“This, clearly,” McCosker wrote, “was the first attempt at a phylogenetic interpretation of Hawaiian anguilliforms.”)

Ophichthus lentiginosus McCosker 2010    freckled, referring to fine dark freckles over entire body

Ophichthus machidai McCosker, Ide & Endo 2012    in honor of ichthyologist Yoshihiko Machida, who guided second author (Sachiko Ide) through her thesis at Kochi University, Kochi, Japan

Ophichthus megalops Asano 1987    mega-, large; ops, eye, referring to its “remarkably” large eyes

Ophichthus microstictus McCosker 2010    mikros, small; stiktos, punctures, referring to minute cephalic pores

Ophichthus mystacinus McCosker 1999    mustachioed, referring to high density of dark spots surrounding base of anterior nostril tubes, “appearing like a faint mustache”

Ophichthus obtusus McCosker, Ide & Endo 2012    blunt, referring to short and conical snout

Ophichthus serpentinus Seale 1917    serpentine, probably referring to elongate, cylindrical and, hence, snake-like shape

Ophichthus shaoi McCosker & Ho 2015    in honor of ichthyologist and marine ecologist Kwang-Tsao Shao, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Ophichthus tomioi McCosker 2010    in honor of friend and colleague Tomio Iwamoto, California Academy of Sciences, who captured holotype

Ophichthus urolophus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)    oura, tail; lophus, mane or crest, referring to elevated posterior portions of vertical (dorsal and anal) fins (which, as in all eels, converge at the tail)

Subgenus Microdonophis Kaup 1856    micro-, small, odon, teeth, referring to minute but sharp teeth; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Ophichthus altipennis (Kaup 1856)    altus, high; pennis, variant or incorrect spelling of pinnis, fin, referring to greatly developed fins, especially high dorsal fin

Ophichthus erabo (Jordan & Snyder 1901)    Japanese name of venomous sea snake Platurus fasciatus (=Laticauda colubrina), which it resembles

Ophichthus polyophthalmus Bleeker 1864    poly, many; ophthalmos, eye, referring to numerous ocellated (eyelike) spots on head and body

Subgenus Omochelys Fowler 1918    omo-, rough (Fowler said “cruel,”) referring to “savage habits” of O. cruentifer (see below); chelys, water-serpent or eel

Ophichthus aphotistos McCosker & Chen 2000    dark or obscure, referring to both black coloration in life (grayish-brown to black in ethanol) and deepwater (700-800 m) habitat

Ophichthus cruentifer (Goode & Bean 1896)    sanguinary or cruel, reflecting the authors’ mistaken belief that it is a parasitic borer (specimens were found inside bodies of other fishes)

Ophichthus pullus McCosker 2005    dark-colored, referring to uniform gray-brown-to-black coloration in ethanol

Incertae sedis

Ophichthus apachus McCosker & Rosenblatt 1998    a-, without; pachos, thickness, referring to very slender and elongate body

Ophichthus arneutes McCosker & Rosenblatt 1998    arneuter, Greek for diver, referring to occurrence at depths of 434-557 m at the Galápagos Islands and use of Johnson Sea-Link submersible to collect type

Ophichthus asakusae Jordan & Snyder 1901    of the Asakusa Aquarium, Tokyo, Japan, which supplied type

Ophichthus bicolor McCosker & Ho 2015    two-colored, yellowish-tan body strongly contrasting with white throat and belly

Ophichthus brevicaudatus Chu, Wu & Jin 1981    brevis, short; cauda, tail, referring to shorter tail compared to O. stenopterus

Ophichthus brevirostris McCosker & Ross 2007    brevis, short; rostrum, snout, referring to short, blunt and rounded snout when viewed from above

Ophichthus celebicus (Bleeker 1856)    icus, belonging to: Manado, Celebes (now Sulawesi), Indonesia, type locality

Ophichthus cylindroideus (Ranzani 1839)    -oides, having the form of: cylindros, cylinder, referring to body shape

Ophichthus fasciatus (Chu, Wu & Jin 1981)    banded, described as having more than 20 vertical black bands on body

Ophichthus fowleri (Jordan & Evermann 1903)    patronym not identified but certainly in honor of ichthyologist Henry Weed Fowler (1878-1965), Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and a student of Jordan’s at Stanford University

Ophichthus frontalis Garman 1899    frontal, also used to indicate forehead, probably referring to “somewhat large” head

Ophichthus gomesii (Castelnau 1855)    in honor of Ildefonso Gomes, physician who cured Castelnau of a malady in Rio de Janeiro

Ophichthus grandoculis (Cantor 1849)    grandis, large; oculus, eye, referring to “comparatively large” eye, which “occupies nearly the whole space between the lip and the profile”

Ophichthus hyposagmatus McCosker & Böhlke 1984    hypo, somewhat; sagmatus, saddled, referring to 16 faint tan saddles along body

Ophichthus leonensis Blache 1975    ensis, suffix denoting place: off the coast of Sierre Leone, type locality and only known distribution

Ophichthus limkouensis Chen 1929    ensis, suffix denoting place: Limkou, Kwangtung, China, type locality

Ophichthus lithinus (Jordan & Richardson 1908)    marbled, like stone, referring to dark mottling on dorsal surface and sides, tending in places to form vague crossbands

Ophichthus longipenis McCosker & Rosenblatt 1998    longus, long; penis, tail, which is 74-80% of total length

Ophichthus macrochir (Bleeker 1852)    macro-, long; cheiros, hand, referring to long pectoral fins, which measure  length of head

Ophichthus macrops Günther 1910    macro-, long; ops, eye, referring to large eye, ½ as long as snout and nearly length of head

Ophichthus manilensis Herre 1923    ensis, suffix denoting place: Manila, referring to Manila Bay, type locality (Cavite, Philippines), and/or to Tondo market in Manila, one of the type localites

Ophichthus marginatus (Peters 1855)    bordered, referring to black edge on dorsal fin

Ophichthus mecopterus McCosker & Rosenblatt 1998    mekos, length; ptera, fin, referring to elongate pectoral fins

Ophichthus melanoporus Kanazawa 1963    melano, black; porus, pore, referring to conspicuous black pores on head and lateral line

Ophichthus melope McCosker & Rosenblatt 1998    melas, black; ope, hole or cavity, referring to head pores conspicuously surrounded by rings, or melanophores

Ophichthus menezesi McCosker & Böhlke 1984    in honor of Brazilian ichthyologist Naercio A. Menezes, for his “generous contributions” of specimens, including the type of this one, to the authors’ eel research

Ophichthus microcephalus Day 1878    micro, small; cephalus, head, referring to size of head compared to larger heads of two species Day believed were congeners, Pisodonophis boro and Myrichthys colubrinus

Ophichthus omorgmus McCosker & Böhlke 1984    spotted, referring to conspicuous spots (i.e., black pores) around lateral line

Ophichthus puncticeps (Kaup 1860)    punctus, speckled; –ceps, head, referring to characteristic pattern of white dots and dashes on snout and head

Ophichthus remiger (Valenciennes 1837)    iger, to bear: apparent misspelling of ramiger, referring to Port Rame, Chile, type locality (likely currently known as Estero Rama, south of Valparaiso)

Ophichthus retrodorsalis Liu, Tang & Zhang 2010    retro-, behind; dorsalis, dorsal, referring to dorsal fin origin far behind tip of pectoral fins

Ophichthus rex Böhlke & Caruso 1980    king, referring to preeminently large size (>2 m has been reported)

Ophichthus roseus Tanaka 1917    rosy, presumably referring to “reddish gray-black” (translation) coloration in formalin

Ophichthus rotundus Lee & Asano 1997    round or circular, referring to almost completely cylindrical body shape

Ophichthus rufus (Rafinesque 1810)    reddish, referring to color of head (although one contemporary account says head color is yellow-brown)

Ophichthus rutidoderma (Bleeker 1852)    rutido-, variant spelling of rhytido-, wrinkled; derma, skin, referring to longitudinal furrows on skin

Ophichthus singapurensis Bleeker 1864-65    ensis, suffix denoting place: Singapore, type locality

Ophichthus spinicauda (Norman 1922)    spina, thorn; cauda, tail, referring to short section of erect and thickened (“spinous”) rays in posterior segment of dorsal fin (near tail)

Ophichthus stenopterus Cope 1871    stenos, narrow; pterus, fin, referring to “very low” (i.e., thin) dorsal and anal fins, “both at their anterior portions a mere fold”

Ophichthus tchangi Tang & Zhang 2002    in honor of Tchunlin Tchang (1897-1963), “China’s leading authority on ichthyology and fishery science”

Ophichthus tetratrema McCosker & Rosenblatt 1998    tetra, four; trema, hole, referring to unique presence of four preopercular pores

Ophichthus tsuchidae Jordan & Snyder 1901    in honor of Toyoza Tsuchida, assistant to zoologist Kakichi Mitsukuri, in the seaside laboratory of the Imperial Universitv at Misaki, type locality

Ophichthus unicolor Regan 1908    uni-, one, referring to uniformly brownish coloration

Ophichthus woosuitingi Chen 1929    in honor of S. T. (Sui-ting) Woo, Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China), assistant to Prof. H. N. Fey, who discovered species

Ophisurus Lacepède 1800    ophis, snake; oura, tail, referring to pointed (i.e., snake-like) caudal fin of O. serpens

Ophisurus macrorhynchos Bleeker 1853    macro-, long; rhynchos, snout, referring to long, sharp snout

Ophisurus serpens (Linnaeus 1758)    snake, referring to serpentine shape and habits, and reflecting a vernacular (e.g., sea snake, serpent marin, serpent de mer) that dates to Aristotle

Paraletharchus McCosker 1974    para, near, representing a separate generic lineage from Letharchus, in which P. pacificus had previously been placed

Paraletharchus opercularis (Myers & Wade 1941)    referring to “pendulous, operculumlike fold of skin hanging down over and screening gill openings”

Paraletharchus pacificus (Osburn & Nichols 1916)    referring to distribution in the Eastern Pacific, compared to Gulf of Mexico distribution of presumed congener Letharchus velifer

Phaenomonas Myers & Wade 1941    phaneros, visible; monas, single, referring to absence of all fins except for “brief, anteriorly placed, well-defined dorsal fin”

Phaenomonas cooperae Palmer 1970    in honor of Jane Cooper, who collected type while living at Betio, Tarawa, in the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati, Western Pacific)

Phaenomonas foresti (Cadenat & Roux 1964)    in honor of J. Forest, who led the Calypso mission that collected type at Cape Verde Islands

Phaenomonas longissima (Cadenat & Marchal 1963)    longest, referring to extreme length (498 mm in type series, up to 553 mm known)

Phaenomonas pinnata Myers & Wade 1941    diminutive of pinna, fin, presumably referring to short, anteriorly placed dorsal fin

Phyllophichthus Gosline 1951    phyllon, leaf, referring to anterior nostrils with posterior borders extending downward into leaf-like appendages; Ophichthus, type genus of family

Phyllophichthus xenodontus Gosline 1951    xenos, strange; odontus, tooth, referring to dentition, different from all other ophichthids (two rows of conical teeth on intermaxillary plate; single row of smaller teeth on inner border of each maxillary; no vomerine teeth; mandibular teeth large, uniserial, well outside of maxillary teeth and projecting directly laterally)

Pisodonophis Kaup 1856    pisos, pea and odon, tooth, referring to granular, pea-shaped teeth; ophis, snake, conventional termination for generic names of snake eels, referring to snake-like appearance

Pisodonophis boro (Hamilton 1822)    Bengali vernacular for this eel, presumably derived from boro, a variety of rice, possibly alluding to this anadromous eel’s occurrence (and reported spawning) in rice paddies

Pisodonophis cancrivorus (Richardson 1848)    cancer, crab; voratus, eat, allusion not explained but clearly referring to its feeding on crabs

Pisodonophis copelandi Herre 1953    in honor of botanist Edwin Bingham Copeland (1873-1964), founder of the Philippine College of Agriculture and friend to both Herre and the Philippine people

Pisodonophis daspilotus Gilbert 1898    da-, very; spilotus, stained, presumably referring to thick covering of black spots on head and body

Pisodonophis hijala (Hamilton 1822)    presumably Bengali vernacular for this eel

Pisodonophis hoeveni (Bleeker 1853)    in honor of the “famous” (translation) Dutch zoologist, Jan van der Hoeven (1801-1868)

Pisodonophis hypselopterus (Bleeker 1851)    hypselos, high; pterus, fin, referring to elevated dorsal and, especially, anal fins

Pisodonophis sangjuensis Ji & Kim 2011    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sangju, South Sea of Korea, type locality

Pisodonophis semicinctus (Richardson 1848)    semi-, half; cinctus, belt or girdle, referring to 18 deep purplish-brown spots or bars that band around upper half of body, fading away below lateral line, except for last three, which encircle tail

Quassiremus Jordan & Davis 1891    quassus, obliterated; remus, oar, referring to minute pectoral fins

Quassiremus ascensionis (Studer 1889)    is, genitive singular of: east of Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean, type locality

Quassiremus evionthas (Jordan & Bollman 1890)    ev-, latinization of eu-, well; ionthas, shaggy, but used here to mean freckled, referring to small black spots over body

Quassiremus nothochir (Gilbert 1890)    nothos, spurious; cheiros, hand, referring to minute pectoral fins

Quassiremus polyclitellum Castle 1996    poly, many; clitella, saddle, referring to 16-20 prominent saddle-shaped bars across dorsum

Rhinophichthus McCosker 1999    rhinos, snout, referring to conical snout, tapering evenly to a sharp point; Ophichthus, type genus of family

Rhinophichthus penicillatus McCosker 1999    atus, having the nature of: penicillus, pencil, referring to sharpened-pencil appearance of both ends

Scytalichthys Jordan & Davis 1891    skytale, viper, referring to snake-like appearance; ichthys, fish

Scytalichthys miurus (Jordan & Gilbert 1882)    curtailed, referring to “unusually short” tail

Stictorhinus Böhlke & McCosker 1975    stiktos, pricked or punctured; rhinus, nose, referring to tubeless anterior nostrils, which consist of hole with lateral fleshy projections into it

Stictorhinus potamius Böhlke & McCosker 1975    ius, pertaining to: potamos, river, referring to freshwater habitat (Amazon and Orinoco River basins)

Suculentophichthus Fricke, Golani & Appelbaum-Golani 2015    suculentus, succulent, referring to succulent-leaf shaped snout appendages, characteristic of genus; Ophichthus, type genus of family

Suculentophichthus nasus Fricke, Golani & Appelbaum-Golani 2015    nose, referring to its nose-like snouts)

Xestochilus McCosker 1998    xestos, shaven; cheilus, lip, referring to smooth (without a crease, split ot barbel) upper lip

Xestochilus nebulosus (Smith 1962)    cloudy, referring to “variable dusky cloudings” over most of dorsal surface on larger, older specimens

Xyrias Jordan & Snyder 1901    a shaveling, referring to absence of cirri on lips

Xyrias chioui McCosker, Chen & Chen 2009    in honor of Capt. Jiun-Shiun Chiou, who captured and donated this and other important eel specimens to the laboratory of the National Taiwan Ocean University

Xyrias guineensis (Blache 1975)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Gulf of Guinea, referring to type locality off Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo

Xyrias multiserialis (Norman 1939)    multi-, many; serialis, rowed, presumably referring to multiserial maxillary dentition

Xyrias revulsus Jordan & Snyder 1901    smooth-shaven or twice plucked, referring to absence of cirri on lips

Yirrkala Whitley 1940    named for Yirrkala, Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia, type locality of type species, Y. chaselingi

Yirrkala calyptra McCosker 2011    Greek for veil, referring to distinctive black facial slash

Yirrkala chaselingi Whitley 1940    in honor of Rev. Wilbur S. Chaseling, missionary at Yirrkala, Australia (type locality), who “presented” type

Yirrkala fusca (Zuiew 1793)    dusky, referring to uniform dark coloration

Yirrkala gjellerupi (Weber & de Beaufort 1916)    in honor of Danish health officer Knud Gjellerup (1876-1950), who collected type

Yirrkala insolitus McCosker 1999    unusual or strange, referring to dorsal-fin origin far posterior to that of other Yirrkala, and to depth of capture (59 m), deeper than its shallow-water congeners

Yirrkala kaupii (Bleeker 1858)    in honor of naturalist (and apodal fish expert) Johann Jacob Kaup (1803-1873), for his many ichthyological discoveries

Yirrkala lumbricoides (Bleeker 1864)   oides, having the form of: lumbricus, earthworm, referring to vermiform body shape

Yirrkala macrodon (Bleeker 1863)    macro-, large; odon, tooth, referring to larger, stronger teeth compared to Sphagebranchus (=Lamnostoma) polyophthalma and S. (L.)  bicolor (the latter being a taxon of uncertain validity)

Yirrkala maculata (Klausewitz 1964)    spotted, referring to row of elongated dark brown spots above lateral line that gradually merge into each other near anus, and/or to small dots under lateral line, each one corresponding to a lateral-line pore

Yirrkala misolensis (Günther 1872)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Misool Island (misspelled Misol), Irian Jaya, Indonesia, type locality

Yirrkala moluccensis (Bleeker 1864)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ambon Island, Moluccas Islands, Indonesia, type locality

Yirrkala moorei McCosker 2006    in honor of Intel co-founder and philanthropist Gordon E. Moore (b. 1929), for “his interest in fishes, his love of fishing, and his support of biodiversity research and conservation”

Yirrkala omanensis (Norman 1939)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Gulf of Oman, type locality and only known area of distribution

Yirrkala ori McCosker 2011    in honor of the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) of South Africa, which collected type and many other valuable specimens

Yirrkala philippinensis (Herre 1936)    ensis, suffix denoting place: the Philippines, referring to type locality at Dumaguete, Oriental Negros, Philippines

Yirrkala tenuis (Günther 1870)    thin, probably referring to thin, elongate body

Subfamily MYROPHINAE Worm Eels                          

Ahlia Jordan & Davis 1891    ia, belonging to: Jonas Nicholas Ahl, whose 1789 thesis (“De Muraena et Ophichtho”) “furnishes the beginning of our systematic arrangement of the eels”

Ahlia egmontis (Jordan 1884)    is, genitive singular of: Egmont Key, Florida, USA, type locality

Asarcenchelys McCosker 1985    asarkos, lean, referring to “emaciated” appearance; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Asarcenchelys longimanus McCosker 1985    longus, long; manus, hand, referring to elongate pectoral fins

Benthenchelys Fowler 1934    benthos, of the depths, referring to deepwater habitat (collected at 685 fathoms); enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Benthenchelys cartieri Fowler 1934    in honor of Oscar Cartier, who studied Philippine fishes in 1874

Benthenchelys indicus Castle 1972    Indian, referring to distribution in Indian Ocean

Benthenchelys pacificus Castle 1972    Pacific, referring to distribution in the Central Pacific

Glenoglossa McCosker 1982    glenos, a thing to stare at; glossa, tongue, referring to elongate tongue, extending well beyond mouth and decorated with a fleshy appendage

Glenoglossa wassi McCosker 1982    in honor of fisheries officer Richard C. Wass, who collected type and many other fishes from American Samoa

Mixomyrophis McCosker 1985    mixis, a mixing; Myrophis, genus of ophichthid eel, referring to its combination of myrophine characters

Mixomyrophis longidorsalis Hibino, Kimura & Golani 2014   longus, long; dorsalis, dorsal, referring to longer dorsal-fin base compared to M. pusillipinna

Mixomyrophis pusillipinna McCosker 1985   pusillus, puny or insignificant; pinna, fin, referring to minute pectoral fins

Muraenichthys Bleeker 1853    originally described in Muraena by Bleeker earlier in the year, he later felt it was sufficiently different to warrant a new genus; ichthys, fish

Muraenichthys gymnopterus (Bleeker 1853)    gymnos, bare or naked; pterus, fin, referring to absence of pectoral fins

Muraenichthys hattae Jordan & Snyder 1901    in honor of Saburo Hatta (1865-1935), Imperial University, Tokyo, for his “excellent” paper on Japanese lampreys

Muraenichthys malabonensis Herre 1923    ensis, suffix denoting place: Bañgos pond at Malabon, Rizal Province, Manila Bay, Philippines, type locality

Muraenichthys philippinensis Schultz & Woods 1949    ensis, suffix denoting place: Badian Island, Philippines, type locality

Muraenichthys schultzei Bleeker 1857   in honor of J. F. Schultze, Assistant-Resident (i.e., governor) of Ambal, Java, who provided an important collection of fishes from the south coast of Java

Muraenichthys sibogae Weber & de Beaufort 1916    in honor of the ship Siboga and Indonesian expedition (1898-1899) of same name, during which type was collected

Muraenichthys thompsoni Jordan & Richardson 1908    in honor of Joseph Cheesman Thompson (1874–1943), U.S. Nav, medical officer and amateur herpetologist, who collected type

Muraenichthys velinasalis Hibino & Kimura 2015    velum, veil; nasalis, nasal, referring to posterior nostril concealed by a large flap

Myrophis Lütken 1852    myros, Greek for a male moray, used here as a general word for eel; ophis, snake, referring to snake-like shape

Myrophis anterodorsalis McCosker, Böhlke & Böhlke 1989    antero, anterior; dorsalis, of the back, referring to anterior origin of dorsal fin

Myrophis lepturus Kotthaus 1968    leptos, thin; oura, tail, referring to very low and thin tail compared to body

Myrophis microchir (Bleeker 1864)    micro-, small; cheiros, hand, referring to small pectoral fins, about 4½ times within length of head

Myrophis platyrhynchus Breder 1927    platy, flat; rhynchus, snout, referring to “peculiar broad flat snout”

Myrophis plumbeus (Cope 1871)    leaden, referring to ventral coloration of holotype

Myrophis punctatus Lütken 1852    speckled, referring to dark brown spots on sides and back

Myrophis vafer Jordan & Gilbert 1883    sly, allusion not explained, possibly referring to similarity to and previous misidentification as M. punctatus

Neenchelys Bamber 1915    neo, new; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel, literally a new family (Neenchelidae, now synonymized) and genus of eels

Neenchelys andamanensis Hibino, Satapoomin & Kimura 2015    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean, type locality

Neenchelys buitendijki Weber & de Beaufort 1916    in honor of Pieter Buitendijk, surgeon aboard the Siboga expedition, who collected type in the Java Sea

Neenchelys cheni (Chen & Weng 1967)    in honor of Tung-Pai Chen, chief, Section of Fisheries, Joint Sino-American Commission on Rural Reconstruction (JCCR), for “financial support and kind encouragement”

Neenchelys daedalus McCosker 1982    named after “Greek artisan who escaped from his Earth-bound prison and ascended into heaven,” referring to midwater habitat, the second ophichthid known to have left substrate and live in midwater (the first being Benthenchelys cartieri)

Neenchelys diaphora Ho, McCosker & Smith 2015    different; initially recognized as being closely similar to N. pelagica but confirmed to be different with newly collected specimens [originally published electronically in 2013 without registration in ZooBank, making it unavailable]

Neenchelys gracilis Ho & Loh 2015    slender or slim, referring to its very slim body

Neenchelys mccoskeri Hibino, Ho & Kimura 2012    in honor of John E. McCosker (b. 1945), California Academy of Sciences, for his “great” contributions to eel systematics and for allowing the authors to describe this species, which he first recognized in 1999

Neenchelys microtretus Bamber 1915    micro-, small; tretos, perforated, probably referring to small gill openings

Neenchelys nudiceps Tashiro, Hibino & Imamura 2015    nudus, naked or bare; ceps, head, referring to upper and lateral surfaces of snout smooth, without papillae

Neenchelys parvipectoralis Chu, Wu & Jin 1981    parvus, small, referring to “smaller and weaker” pectoral fins compared to N. buitendijki

Neenchelys pelagica Ho, McCosker & Smith 2015    referring to its mesopelagic habitat [originally published electronically in 2013 without registration in ZooBank, making it unavailable]

Neenchelys similis Ho, McCosker & Smith 2015    like, referring to its similarity to N. daedalus [originally published electronically in 2013 without registration in ZooBank, making it unavailable]

Pseudomyrophis Wade 1946    pseudo, false, i.e., although this genus may superficially resemble Myrophis, such an appearance is false

Pseudomyrophis atlanticus Blache 1975    referring to distribution in eastern tropical Atlantic

Pseudomyrophis frio (Jordan & Davis 1891)    from off Cape Frio, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, type locality

Pseudomyrophis fugesae McCosker, Böhlke & Böhlke 1989    in honor of illustrator Mary H. Fuges, for her “artistic ability … meticulous attention to detail … and her patience and encouragement throughout the preparation” of the eel volume of “Fishes of the Western North Atlantic” series

Pseudomyrophis micropinna Wade 1946    micro-, small; pinna, fin, referring to minute pectoral fins

Pseudomyrophis nimius Böhlke 1960    excessive, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to “exceedingly elongate” body, and/or greater length (up to 323 mm) compared to P. micropinna (up to 139 mm)

Pylorobranchus McCosker & Chen 2013    pylorus, gatekeeper; branchos, gill, referring to lappet-like structure located before gill opening

Pylorobranchus hearstorum McCosker 2014    -orum, commemorative suffix, plural: in honor of William and Margaret Hearst, friends and philanthropists, who sponsored expedition that collected type

Pylorobranchus hoi McCosker, Lo & Lin 2013    in honor of Hsuan-Ching Ho, friend and colleague, who has studied eels and many other fishes of Taiwan

Schismorhynchus McCosker 1970    schisme, cleft; rhynchus, snout, referring to prominent toothed groove on underside of snout

Schismorhynchus labialis (Seale 1917)    of the lips, presumably referring to “abnormally large [nostrils] resembling two large curved fangs hanging down from the upper lips”

Schultzidia Gosline 1951    ia, belonging to: Leonard P. Schultz (1901-1986), Curator of Fishes, U. S. National Museum, who co-described type species, S. johnstonensis

Schultzidia johnstonensis (Schultz & Woods 1949)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Johnston Island, Central Pacific, type locality

Schultzidia retropinnis (Fowler 1934)    retro-, behind; pinna, fin, referring to posterior “insertion” of dorsal fin

Scolecenchelys Ogilby 1897    scolex, worm, referring to worm-like shape; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Scolecenchelys acutirostris (Weber & de Beaufort 1916)    acutus, sharp; rostrum, snout, referring to “very pointed and prominent snout”

Scolecenchelys aoki (Jordan & Snyder 1901)    in honor of Kumakichi Aoki, fisherman, assistant to Kakichi Mitsukuri in the Marine Laobratory at Misaki, “one of the best [fish] collectors in Japan”

Scolecenchelys australis (Macleay 1881)    described from Australia, near Sydney (also occurs in Pacific near New Zealand, Norfolk Island and Kermadec Islands)

Scolecenchelys borealis (Machida & Shiogaki 1990)    northern, referring to northern distribution (Western North Pacific) compared to other members of genus

Scolecenchelys brevicaudata Hibino & Kimura 2015    brevis, short; caudata, tailed, referring to relatively shorter tail compared to congeners

Scolecenchelys breviceps (Günther 1876)    brevis, short; ceps, head, referring to shorter head compared to Muraenichthys (=Scolecenchelys) macropterus

Scolecenchelys castlei McCosker 2006    in honor of Peter H. J. Castle (1934-1999), Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand), who recognized this eel as distinct but did not live to complete a description

Scolecenchelys chilensis (McCosker 1970)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Chile, indicating offshore islands from which this species was taken, the first species of genus known from the New World

Scolecenchelys cookei (Fowler 1928)    in honor of conchologist Charles Montague Cooke, Jr. (1874-1948), for his “unselfish interest and influence in the many scientific projects which have their center in the Bishop Museum at Honolulu,” for the inception of Fowler’s monograph on Hawaiian fishes, and the “encouragement of his steadfast friendship,” through whom Fowler was “enabled to study new and interesting fishes, many of them the most beautiful of their kind”

Scolecenchelys fuscapenis McCosker, Ide & Endo 2012    fuscus, dark; penis, tail, referring to prominent black spot on posterior tail region

Scolecenchelys fuscogularis Hibino, Kai & Kimura 2013    fuscus, dark; gularis, throat, referring to dark branchial basket

Scolecenchelys godeffroyi (Regan 1909)    in honor of the Museum Godeffroy (Hamburg, Germany), where type was housed, and/or the museum’s founder, shipping magnate Johann Cesar VI. Godeffroy (1813-1885), who commissioned natural history collections in Australia and the South Seas

Scolecenchelys gymnota (Bleeker 1857)    gymnos, bare or naked; notus, back, probably referring to rudimentary dorsal fin, beginning above or behind anus, giving appearance of a bare or naked dorsal surface

Scolecenchelys iredalei (Whitley 1927)    in honor of ornithologist-malacologist Tom Iredale (1880-1972), Australian Museum, who accompanied Whitley on a collecting trip to Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, type locality

Scolecenchelys laticaudata (Ogilby 1897)    latus, broad; caudatus, tailed, referring to anal and dorsal fins “expanded and fan-shaped” around tip of tail

Scolecenchelys macroptera (Bleeker 1857)    macro-, long; ptera, fin, referring to longer dorsal fin, which begins near gill openings, compared to Muraenichthys (=Scolecenchelys) gymnotus

Scolecenchelys nicholsarum (Waite 1904)    in honor of Mrs. T. Nichols [who collected and/or provided many Australian fishes for Waite] and her daughters for the “many kindnessess” he received [originally spelled nicholsae; since name honors more than one woman, spelling must be amended to nicholsarum per ICZN Art. 31.1.2-3]

Scolecenchelys profundorum (McCosker & Parin 1995)    of the depths, referring to deepwater (310 m) habitat

Scolecenchelys puhioilo (McCosker 1979)    from the Hawaiian puhi oilo, “small eels about as large in diameter as a finger” (a delicacy among ancient Hawaiians), referring to body width (7.5-15 mm)

Scolecenchelys robusta Hibino & Kimura 2015    referring to its robust body, i.e., body depth deeper than that of its congeners

Scolecenchelys vermiformis (Peters 1866)    vermis, worm; forma, shape, referring to worm-like shape

Scolecenchelys xorae (Smith 1958)    of Xora River (specifically, its mouth), Transkei, South Africa, type locality

Skythrenchelys Castle & McCosker 1999    skythros, angry or sullen, referring to facial expression of two included species; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Skythrenchelys macrostoma (Bleeker 1864)    macro-, long; stoma, mouth, referring to wide cleft of mouth, reaching behind eye

Skythrenchelys zabra Castle & McCosker 1999    zabros, gluttonous, referring to its ability to ingest very large prey

Sympenchelys Hibino, Ho & Kimura 2015    sympiez, Greek for compress, referring to its compressed body and neural and haemal spines; enchelys, ancient Greek for eel

Sympenchelys taiwanensis Hibino, Ho & Kimura 2015    ensis, suffix denoting place: known from northeastern and southwestern Taiwan