species: Ophichthus cephalozona in ALA: LIRS and surrounds using records to Oct. 2021 (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Ophichthus cephalozona

©Lyle Vail: Ophichthus cephalozona about 50 cm long from near beach at Lizard Island Research Station (aquarium photo).

©Anne Hoggett: Ophichthus cephalozona at night in shallow water off Casuarina Beach (1 Mar 2016). Cross-sectional diameter is about 2 cm.

©Anne Hoggett: Another photo of the same individual.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Anguilliformes
Family Ophichthidae
Genus Ophichthus
Species Ophichthus cephalozona



Distinguishing features

Brown body with a band of white at rear head, then a broad black band, then another white band at the level of pectoral fins. Pectoral fins and margin of dorsal fin are white. Two rows of well-spaced dark spots or indentations on top of head. Prominent tubular nostrils.


  • Up to 60 cm (estimated length of observed specimens at Lizard Island)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Occasionally seen on the sandy reef flat in front of LIRS at extreme low tides in winter.

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