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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 Galpagos., Noticias de Galpagos, 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...excut sur les corvettes de L. M. "L'Uranie" et "La Physicienne," pendant les annes 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 Runion Island in the Indian \., .


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Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Actinopterygii  
 Order Anguilliformes  
 Family Anguillidae  
 Genus Anguilla  
  Anguilla marmorata    Quoy & Gaimard, 1824 
Provider: Tseng, Chin-Tsian 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Anguilla anguilla Anguilla arracana Anguilla bengalensis Anguilla bengalensis bengalensis Anguilla elphinstonei Anguilla hildebrandti Anguilla johannae Anguilla marmolata Anguilla mauritiana Anguilla nebulosa nebulosa Anguilla variegata details
Citation: 臺灣魚類誌 (沈等, 1993); 臺灣常見魚介貝類圖說(下)-魚類 (邵主編, 1996); The Live Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific, Vol.3 (FAO,1999)
Character: Head moderately large, shaped like a blunt awl. Mouth large and protractile. Lower jaw protruded, posterior end of upper jaw behind posterior margin of eye, both upper and lower jaw with teeth. Body cylindrical, elongated like a snake, posterior laterally compressed. Scales small and cycloid, covered by mucus. Pectoral fin small; dorsal, anal and caudal fins united; dorsal fin origin before middle between posterior tip of pectoral fin and anus; vertebrae 100-110. Body with irregular stripes composed of blotches, white anteroventrally. 
Habitat: Catadromous fish, demersal. Eggs hatched in the ocean, after driving by the ocean current for months, elvers enter estuaries and rest in middle and lower elevation of rivers. A matured eel is called a silver eel, it took elvers several years to become a s 
Distribution: Extensively distributed from eastern Africa to French Polynesia, north to southern Japan and south to southern Pacific. Can be found in all rivers in Taiwan, more abundant in eastern portion. 
Name Code: 380712
  IUCN Red List:LC      
Suggested Link    The Fish Database of Taiwan    FishBase    Discover Life    World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)  
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http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Anguilla+marmorata&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Animal ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Anguilla+marmorata&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Animal

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Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Anguilla marmorata%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Animal") ORDER BY taxon

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Anguilla marmorata
Anguilla marmorata
ID: 4444 4444 1106 0178 [detail]
© 2006 Moorea Biocode

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Following modified from FishBase
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http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Anguilla&speciesname=marmorata ---> http://www.fishbase.se/summary/Anguilla-marmorata.html

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 | Stamps, Coins Misc. | Google image Image of Anguilla marmorata (Giant mottled eel) Anguilla marmorata
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Anguillidae (Freshwater eels)
Etymology: Anguilla: Latin, anguilla, .-ae = eel (Ref. 45335 ) .   More on author: 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; 24°N - 33°S

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.

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. Adults have a brownish to black marbling on their back on a greyish yellow background. This coloration can fade away. White belly. Younger specimens are greyish to orange and the marbling is less visible (Ref. 48622 ). Body color brown speckles scattered on back, sides and fins; yellow between speckles and edge of pectoral fin; belly white or pale blue (Ref. 45563 ). Head rounded; snout depressed; lower jaw protruded; gill openings small; scales matted-like under skin; pectoral fin rounded; pelvic fin absent (Ref. 45563 ). Distinguished from all other species by the mottled color 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. 115185 )

  Least Concern (LC)  

CITES (Ref. 115941 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

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

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


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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | 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 | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia( Go , Search ) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 15.7 - 27.8, mean 24.5 (based on 725 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  3.8   ±0.67 se; Based on food items. Resilience (Ref. 69278 ):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tmax=40). Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Very high vulnerability (75 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Unknown .

Entered by Luna, Susan M. Modified by Torres, Armi G. Fish Forum
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