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Encheliophis homei is a slender fish that grows to a maximum length of 19 cm (7.5 in). The body is transparent and melanophores and silvery patches are found on the abdomen, which contains a large swim bladder. It has a free and moveable upper jaw, small conical teeth, large eyes, and 116 to 128 vertebrae. The elongated dorsal fin has 33 to 38 soft rays and the anal fin 53 to 61. A pair of pectoral fins but no pelvic fins are present. After being in open water, the fish does not necessarily return to the original host, and shows no preference as to which species of sea cucumber it uses as a host. Before entering, it patrols several times along the outside surface of the sea cucumber, "sniffing" at it. It then pecks or taps with its snout around the area of the anus before entering the host, which it usually does head first, but sometimes the other way round.
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