Dwarf wrymouth (Cryptacanthodes aleutensis)

Photo of a dwarf wrymouth on a table. It has a long reddish body and a white head.
Dwarf wrymouth (J. Selleck)
Category: Fish
Related species groups: Wrymouth and eel

Caught incidentally in the commercial fishery off the outer Washington coast with otter-trawls.

Description and Range

Physical description

The dwarf wrymouth is an elongate eel-like fish that lacks scales. The body is pink or red and is mostly uniform in color. This species has long dorsal and anal fins that join at the base of the caudal fin, and lack pelvic fins. The head is broad and flat on top with the mouth nearly vertical. A long tube extends from the nostril in front of the eye. The eyes of the dwarf wrymouth point mostly upward.

The dwarf wrymouth can grow up to 30 cm (1 ft) in length.

Geographic range

The range and depth distribution of the dwarf wrymouth is not well documented but is thought to be from the Bering Sea to Eureka, California. This species may live partly buried in the soft bottoms on which it lives in water depths of 46 to 350 m (150-1,150 ft).