Lepophidium gilmorei Robins, Robins & Brown, 2012
Pepperfin cusk-eel

Family:  Ophidiidae (Cusk-eels), subfamily: Ophidiinae
Max. size:  17.2 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; marine; depth range 60 - 124 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: northeastern Gulf of Mexico (off Florida), the southeastern coast of the US (off South Carolina), the Bahamas (New Providence I.), Venezuela, and Grenada.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 117-122; Anal soft rays: 95-101; Vertebrae: 65-67. This species is distinguished from its congeners on the basis of vertebral counts; from Lepophidium aporrhox by dorsal rays (117-122 vs. 106-115); from L. aporrhox and L. microlepis by total gill arch elements (8-9 vs. 17-22 and 10-15, respectively); from L. microlepis by average orbit diameter as a percentage of head length (30.4% vs. 23.7%); from L. collettei by the average number of caeca (3.2 vs. 5.4), total gill raker elements (8-9 vs. 12-17), dorsal fin origin (between neural spines 3-4 vs. between 4-5 and 5-6), as well as averages of orbit diameter, body depth at origin of anal fin, predorsal distance, and lateral line length; similar to L. crossotum in number of vertebrae (Ref. 91765).
Biology: 
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 29 January 2013 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless


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