Specklefin Cusk Eel
Congriperla Pinta
(Lepophidium negropinna)

Specklefin Cusk Eel, Lepophidium negropinna: The Specklfin Cusk Eel has a uniform dark brown coloration with an elongated eel-like body. The margin of the dorsal fin is black but the inner part is tan with many small dark spots and streaks.

The anal and caudal fins of the Specklfin Cusk Eel are black. The dorsal fin originates just behind the very long pectoral fins and there are two pairs of small thread like pelvic fins inserted under the eyes.

The Specklfin Cusk Eel reaches a maximum of 20 inches in length and is found demersal (on the bottom) on soft bottoms up to 1,200 feet deep in the water column.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters the Specklfin Cusk Eel has a limited distribution, being found from Magdalena Bay southwards along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula and throughout the Sea of Cortez.

The Specklfin Cusk Eel has a uniquely colored dorsal fin and therefore cannot be easily confused with any other fish species.

It feeds on polychaete worms, small crustaceans, small clams and other invertebrates. The Specklfin Cusk Eel is seldom seen by humans and is of limited interest to most.

The catch pictured below is a very rare catch of this species by hook and line.

The Specklefin Cusk Eel is a member of the Ophidiidae Family which are known in Mexico as congriperlas. They are long slender eel-like fishes with an elongated body that tapers to a pointed tail. They have large mouths. The anal and dorsal fins are low and confluent with the tail, the pectoral fins are mid-sized and they have two small thread like pelvic fins inserted under the eyes. Globally there are 13 members of the genus, of which 5 are found in Mexican waters.

Specklefin Cusk Eel picture

Specklefin Cusk Eel picture

Specklefin Cusk Eel, Lepophidium negropinna: Caught by commercial fishermen in the greater Los Cabos area of Baja California Sur, Mexico, in June 2011. Size 48.5 cm (19 inches). Note the significant change in body shape as the fish matures. Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.

Specklfin Cusk Eel picture 1

Specklfin Cusk Eel picture 2

Specklefin Cusk Eel, Lepophidium negropinna: Caught during fishing by commercial fishermen in the greater Los Cabos area of Baja California Sur, Mexico, in June 2009. Size: 42 cm (16.5 inches). Identification reconfirmed of Robert N. Lea, Department of Fish and Game, State of California. Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.

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