Remarkably little is known about the life histories of the many tropical anguillid eels distributed across the Indo-Pacific region, and since the Danish expedition to study eels in the region in 1928 and 1929, research on these eels has only begun again in recent years. Sampling for anguillid leptocephali in the Indonesian Seas has been carried out recently to learn about the spawning ecology and larval distributions of tropical eels there. The leptocephali of Anguilla marmorata, Anguilla bicolor pacifica, Anguilla borneensis, Anguilla interioris, and Anguilla celebesensis were collected around Sulawesi Island both in May 2001 and October of 2002. The development of genetic identification techniques has enabled these leptocephali to be identified to species, and their distributions and sizes during different seasons indicated that there are differing life history patterns among sympatric species in the region. A. celebesensis was found to have been spawning in Tomini Bay of northeastern Sulawesi Island in March and April 2001, but apparently, no spawning had occurred in the late summer and fall of 2002. Studies on anguillid glass eels have suggested that tropical anguillids may spawn throughout much of year, but our research on leptocephali in Tomini Bay and data on the downstream migration of tropical anguillids in the major tributary to Tomini Bay indicate that A. celebesensis may have a distinct seasonal pattern of spawning possibly related to the regional monsoon cycles. This is the first evidence of seasonality of spawning in tropical anguillid eels whose life histories are only just beginning to be revealed.
- Seasonal spawning
- Sulawesi Island
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics