Twoline Eelpout, Bothrocara brunneum

The twoline eelpout is native to the deep water between the Bering Sea and Mexico, including Attu Island, also in the north western Pacific from northern Russia to southern Japan. This fish is a bottom dweller called a bathydemersal (below 650 feet) and is found at depths 2,000 – 6,000 feet where a sandy or muddy ocean floor is found.

The twoline eelpout is the only eelpout species with two lateral lines across the light grey or brown body that is semi-translucent. The dorsal (top) and anal (bottom) fins have a blue or black margin and are covered with a gelatin-like substance. Both fins are comprised of soft rays with no spines or spikes. The twoline eelpout can reach a length of 2.36 feet with the male being slightly larger than the female.

The scientific name of the twoline eelpout, bothrocara (cavity head) brunneum (brown), was derived because of the slightly indented area on the head and the color of the body.

By analyzing the contents of the twoline eelpout, it has been determined it feeds on other bottom dwellers that are small enough to be captured and ingested. This fish is considered to be a predatory specialist; it will attack and consume anything of food value.

The female will lay approximately 1327 eggs.

The twoline eelpout is of no threat to humans and has not been evaluated for conservation purposes.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Zoarcidae

Image Caption: Two-line eelpout on the Davidson Seamount at 10,000 feet depth. Credit: NOAAMBARI/Wikipedia