Spotted Cusk-eel
Chilara taylori

Physical Description

  • Long eel-like fish
  • Cream to brown in color with large dark spots
  • Round head and snout
  • Low dorsal and tail fins. Pelvic fins just two long rays under eyes
  • Common length about 12 inches; maximum length about 16 inches


  • Washington to Baja California, Mexico
  • Costa Rica to Ecuador and Galapagos Islands


  • Mud, eelgrass, estuary, mangroves, and rock rubble
  • Often burrow tail-first in sand, in mucus-lined holes
  • Depths of 0-920 feetĀ 


  • Shrimps, crabs, and bony fishes


  • California sea lions, cormorants

Interesting Facts

  • They have smooth scales set at oblique (slanted) angles.

Sources: FishBase;; Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Photo: Herb Gruenhagen

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