King snake eel

Ophichthus rex

Family Ophichthidae - eels, snake

Body elongate, snake-like, body stout; color brownish to gray, back and sides with faint wide vertical bars; dorsal fin originates behind pectoral fins; no tail fin, tail ends with a fleshy nub; mouth is terminal, snout not extending past lower jaw; anterior nostril is tubular; no pelvic fins; no barbel on lips; tips of upper pectoral fins dusky; dorsal and anal fins striped at bases.
Similar Species
Snake eels differ from other eel families by having no tail fin, just a fleshy nub. Other snake eels differ from the king snake eel by having an snout extending past lower jaw and/or having a spotted or plain body (no vertical bars).
Gulf, near rigs and on muddy bottoms
Maximum Size
210 cm (7 ft)
Fin Element Counts
unknown (explain)
Other Common Names
giant snake eel
Previous Scientific Names
Photos courtesy Claire Iseton, TPWD.
State size/bag limits