Lepophidium profundorum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Ophidiiformes Ophidiidae

Scientific Name: Lepophidium profundorum (Gill, 1863)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Fawn Cusk-Eel, Blackrim Cusk-Eel
French Brotule Liseree
Spanish Clarín, Congriperla Amarilla, Perla Aleta Negra
Lepophidium cervinum Goode & Bean 1885
Leptophidium profundorum Gill , 1863
Leptophidium cervinum Goode & Bean 1885
Taxonomic Notes: Lepophidium profundorum reported from the Southern Caribbean are referable to as L. cultratum (R. Robins pers. comm. 2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-01-29
Assessor(s): Robins, R.H.
Reviewer(s): Linardich, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Cox, N.A.
Lepophidium profundorum is a common, deep-living species that is widely distributed over the continental shelf to slope over soft bottom. There are no known major threats, therefore, it is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Lepophidium profundorum is distributed in the western Atlantic from Georges Bank (Massachusetts) south along the U.S. coast, in the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Keys north to the Flower Garden Banks area and off Mexico from Tuxpan along the Yucatan Peninsula. Records from the southern Caribbean are misidentifications, likely of L. cultratum. Its depth range is 29-399 m (usually 60 m) (Smith 1997, Nielsen et al. 1999, Nielsen 2002, Robins et al. 2012, R. Robertson pers. comm. 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):399
Upper depth limit (metres):29
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Lepophidium profundorum is common (R. Robins pers. comm. 2013).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Lepophidium profundorum is a benthopelagic, burrowing species with a maximum size of 25.7 cm SL (commonly 22 cm SL) found on the outer continental shelf and upper slope from 29-399 m depth (usually 60m) on silty or soft mud bottoms. It is most active at night (Fahay 1992, Robins et al. 2012). It is a benthivore that feeds on worms and other small crustaceans (Smith and Link 2010). It has been suggested that the burrowing activities of this fish may be important to the redistribution of sediments. Members of the Ophidiidae family are important prey items in the diets of many other fishes (Levy et al. 1988). It is reportedly a secondary prey item for benthic predators such as skates on the continental shelf of the Northeast U.S. (Smith and Link 2010).

Larvae of L. profundorum are mainly distributed over the outer half of the continental shelf and are abundant in the ichthyoplankton during summer (July-November) in the Middle Atlantic Bight (Fahay 1992). The spawning season for the southern part of its range is not yet described. Males emit sounds to attract potential mates and following a successful pairing, the female lays floating, gelatinous masses of eggs (Fahay 1992, Richards 2006). Details on the life history of L. profundorum are limited.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Lepophidium profundorum is commonly caught as bycatch in the cod fishery on the bank areas of the Northwestern Atlantic (Robins et al. 2012). It is also likely caught and discarded  as bycatch in the shrimp trawling industry off the Dry Tortugas, Florida (Hensley and Hensley 1995, Nielsen et al. 1999).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known for this species. It occurs as bycatch in trawl fisheries, however, until quantifiable catch data is available, the extent of such a threat cannot be determined.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures.

Citation: Robins, R.H. 2015. Lepophidium profundorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T16502093A16509967. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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