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Anguilla marmorata Quoy and Gaimard, 1824
Marbled Eel; Giant mottled freshwater eel

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Anguillidae   Anguilla

Anguilla marmorata
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Anguilla marmorata

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Anguilla marmorata
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Anguilla marmorata

Main identification features
  • lips thick;mouth ends under eye
  • small imbedded scales
  • dorsal fin origin well behind pectoral
  • teeth minute, in bands
  • large pectorals
  • mottled - green and brown
Body robust; tail compressed; small imbedded scales present in adults but not juveniles; with large pectoral fins; dorsal fin origin well behind pectoral fin; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail fin; mouth reaching to under rear edge of eye; lips thick; teeth minute, in bands; teeth on jaws with toothless groove separating inner and outer teeth; patch of teeth on front roof of mouth narrows conspicuously in its middle; lateral line complete but pores very small; 100-110 vertebrae.

Yellowish to olive or brown, mottled with dark greenish brown, lighter below; all fins dark.

Reaches 2m.

0-2m depth.

Widely distributed in the Indo-central Pacific; recently found in the Galapagos, where it evidently is a vagrant. Adults in fresh to brackish water, migrate long distances to spawning grounds in deep gyres in the open ocean; larvae marine.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 2 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: bony fishes; mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs).
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=2; Southern limit=-2; Western limit=-93; Eastern limit=-90; Latitudinal range=4; Longitudinal range=3.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Demersal.
Global Endemism: Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans); "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; All species.
Habitat: Estuary; Freshwater; Rocks; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Reef and soft bottom; Reef (rock &/or coral).
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 200 cm.
Regional Endemism: Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Island (s) only; Island (s); All species.
Residency: Vagrant.
Salinity: Brackish; Freshwater; Non Marine.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Arai, T., Marui, M., Miller, M.J. and Tsukamoto, K., 2002., Growth history and inshore migration of the tropical eel Auguilla marmorata in the western Pacific., Marine Biology, 140:309-316.
  • McCosker, J.E., Bustamante, R.H. and Wellington, G.M., 2003., The freshwater eel, Anguilla marmorata, discovered in Galßpagos., Noticias de Galßpagos, Aug 2003:2-6.
  • Quoy , J. R. C. and Gaimard, J. P., 1824., Description des Poissons. Chapter IX. In: Freycinet, L. de, Voyage autour du Monde...exÚcutÚ sur les corvettes de L. M. "L'Uranie" et "La Physicienne," pendant les annÚes 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris., Voyage Uranie, Zool., :1-328.
  • Robinet, T., Lecomte-Finiger, R. Escoubeyrou, K. and Feunteun, E., 2003., Tropical eels Anguilla spp. recruiting to RÚunion Island in the Indian \., .


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Anguilla marmorata, Giant mottled eel : fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish
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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Anguilla marmorata Quoy & Gaimard , 1824

Giant mottled eel Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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Anguilla marmorata   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Videos | Stamps, Coins Misc. | Google image Image of Anguilla marmorata (Giant mottled eel) Anguilla marmorata
Picture by Warren, T.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes( genus , species ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Anguillidae (Freshwater eels)
Etymology: Anguilla: Latin, anguilla, .-ae = eel (Ref. 45335 ) .
More on authors: Quoy & Gaimard .

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; catadromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 1 - 400 m (Ref. 6898 ). Tropical; 31°N - 35°S, 21°E - 134°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: East Africa, inland Mozambique and lower Zambezi River to French Polynesia, north to southern Japan (Ref. 7050 ). Also rivers of Madagascar and adjacent islands (Ref. 52193 ).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ?   range ? - ? cm
Max length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57749 ); 200.0 cm TL (female); common length : 26.3 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35840 ); max. published weight: 20.5 kg (Ref. 13337 ); max. published weight: 20.5 kg; max. reported age: 40 years (Ref. 48660 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Vertebrae : 100 - 110. Diagnosis: Distinguished from all other species by the mottled colour and the long dorsal fin, which begins closer to the gill opening than to the anus (Ref. 9828 ).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Live in freshwater areas as adults, estuaries and seas as young (Ref. 12693 ). Found in lowland rivers as well as upland tributaries (Ref. 2847 ). While in river, the sex gland does not develop. But in winter when they move from the stream to river mouth, the sex gland begins to develop as mature individuals go to deep sea to breed (Ref. 45563 ). The spawning grounds are deep sea gullies among the south of the Philippines, east of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (Ref. 45563 ). Are active at night, feeding on a wide range of prey (Ref. 7248 , 79840 ), especially crabs, frogs and fish (Ref. 7248 ). Thought to breed east of Madagascar where the young are wafted to the East Coast by ocean currents (Ref. 13337 , 79840 ).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Castle, P.H.J. , 1984. Anguillidae. p. 34-37. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ORSTOM, Paris and MRAC, Tervuren. Vol. 1. (Ref. 3506 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435 )

  Least Concern (LC)  ; Date assessed: 06 November 2018


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes FAO - Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Summary page | Point data | Common names | Photos

Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes : genus , species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome , nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go , Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201 ): 15.7 - 27.8, mean 24.5 °C (based on 725 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804 ):  PD 50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00076 (0.00037 - 0.00155), b=3.17 (3.00 - 3.34), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic level (Ref. 69278 ):  3.8   ±0.67 se; based on food items. Resilience (Ref. 120179 ):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tmax=40). Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Very high vulnerability (90 of 100). Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Unknown .

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Updated: 2024-04-25 11:55:26 gmt
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