Definitions for ophidiidae
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Ophidiidae, family Ophidiidae(noun)
eellike marine fishes
The cusk-eel family is a group of marine bony fishes in the order Ophidiiformes. The scientific name is from the Greek ophis meaning "snake", and refers to their eel-like appearance. However, they can be distinguished from true eels of the order Anguilliformes by their ventral fins, which are developed into a forked barbel-like organ below the mouth in the cusk-eels; in the true eels by contrast they are never well-developed and usually missing entirely. They are found in temperate and tropical oceans throughout the world. They live close to the sea bottom, ranging from shallow water to depths below 2,000 m. One species, Abyssobrotula galatheae, was reportedly caught in a trawl net at the bottom of the Puerto Rico trench, which would make it the deepest recorded fish at 8,370 m. However, since no others have been seen at such depths, it is now thought it was caught at a shallower depth. The largest species, Lamprogrammus shcherbachevi, grows up to 2 m in length, but most species are shorter than 1 m. Unlike their close relatives, the viviparous brotulas of the Bythitidae, they are egg-laying, and the larvae live amongst the plankton, relatively close to the surface.
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