Greek, ophis = serpent + Greek, ichthys = fish
No. of Species
Tropical to warm temperate waters. Coastal, some species entering rivers. Posterior nostril usually lying within or piercing the upper lip, opening into mouth. Tongue attached. Branchiostegal rays 15-49 pairs, overlapping midventrally to form a 'jugostegalia', a basketlike structure. Poorly developed neural spines, when present. Hyomandibulae usually vertical, but may be inclined backward or forward. With or without pectoral fins. Vertebrae 110-270. Most species spend their time burried in sand and hunt small fishes and crustaceans by sense of smell.