An extended creature coated with darkish spots slithered by way of the water off the coast of India — and straight into an enormous web dragging alongside the ocean flooring.
Scientists on the Mudasalodai fish touchdown heart had been checking fishing nets after they got here throughout the creature, and 4 others prefer it, and realized they’d found a brand new species of snake-eel, in accordance with a research revealed Nov. 14 within the Journal of Fish Biology.
The snake-eels, named Ophichthus naevius, had been distinguished by their “distinctive shade sample” and their “pointed” tooth, researchers stated within the research. The specimens, which aren’t thought of endangered, had been useless after they had been discovered within the trawl.
The brand new species is a kind of Ophichthidae, an eel also called a “snake-eel” or “worm-eel,” in accordance with the research.
The eels “thrive alongside the intertidal to the deep-sea area,” researchers stated. Ophichthus naevius specimens had been collected roughly 80 toes to 100 toes underwater.
Scientists stated the creatures are “reasonably” lengthy — one of many specimens measured just below 15 inches. Their tails are particularly lengthy, starting from 58.1% to 60% of their whole physique size.
The eels even have “tiny” tooth on their jaw which can be “pointed” and “conical,” in accordance with the research.
Researchers described the eel as having “quite a few dense darkish spots” on their head and physique that stretch down their tail. Their entrance facet is lighter in shade and has fewer spots.
The eels have a yellowish to translucent fins on their sides, the research stated. Their dorsal and anal fins are white and brown, and the tip of their tail is “yellowish brown.”
Scientists named the brand new species after its spots, in accordance with the research. “Naevius” is the Latin phrase for moles or spots.
The brand new species is from the Bay of Bengal within the Indian Ocean, researchers stated. Specimens had been collected off Cuddalore, which is on the southeast coast of India.