Anguilla marmorata, Giant mottled eel : fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish

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Anguilla marmorata Quoy & Gaimard, 1824

Giant mottled eel
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Anguilla marmorata   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Anguilla marmorata
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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; 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: Lm ?  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. 126983)

  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 |


Special reports

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Internet sources

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):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00076 (0.00037 - 0.00157), 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.