Spatial distribution of 0-group eel larvae (Anguilla sp.) in the Sargasso Sea
- Cite this article as:
- Schoth, M. & Tesch, F.W. Helgolander Meeresunters (1982) 35: 309. doi:10.1007/BF02006139
Both Atlantic eel species (Anguilla anguilla andA. rostrata) were collected in the Sargasso Sea during the 1979 cruise of the F. R. V. “Anton Dohrn” and R. V. “Friedrich Heincke”. A total of 3,097 0-group larvae were caught during 80 hauls using the Isaacs Kidd Midwater Trawl (55 hauls) and the 9-fold opening and closing net MOCNESS (25 hauls). 11 hauls of the MOCNESS indicated that the larvae showed a preference for the 150–175 m water depth during daytime and for the 50–75 m depth during night. The northern distribution limit seems to coincide with the “18°C-water” at the sea surface. The Antilla current characterised by higher temperatures and salinities could have been the southern distribution limit. The north-easternmost occurrence ofA. anguilla was noted at 50°W; the eastern distribution limit of this species could be farther east. The westernmost station at 69°W was positive for both species.A. anguilla, therefore, is very likely to occur beyond this area. The easternmost occurrence ofA. rostrata was noted at 52°W though sporadic and with increasing abundance towards the west. At the western end of the network of stations the highest concentration of larvae from both species was recorded. Oceanographic investigations reveal that the distribution of the smaller larvae (size-groups <7 mm and <10 mm) almost coincides with the assumed spawning area.