Early life history of tropical Anguilla leptocephali in the western Pacific Ocean
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In order to examine the early life-history characteristics of tropical eels, otolith microstructure and microchemistry were examined in leptocephali of Anguilla bicolor pacifica (27.6–54.1 mm TL, n=20) and A. marmorata (22.0–47.3 mm TL, n=8) collected during a cruise in the western Pacific. A. bicolor pacifica occurred between 10°N and 15°N in the west and between 5°S and 10°N farther to the east. A. marmorata also occurred in two different latitudinal ranges in the Northern (15–16°N) and Southern Hemispheres (3–15°S) of the western Pacific. The increment widths in the otoliths of these leptocephali increased between the hatch check (0 days) and about an age of 30 days in both species, and then gradually decreased toward the otolith edge. Otolith Sr:Ca ratios showed a gradual increase from the otolith center to the edge. The ages of A. bicolor pacifica and A. marmorata leptocephali ranged from 40 to 128 days and from 38 to 99 days, respectively. Growth rates of A. bicolor pacifica and A. marmorata leptocephali ranged from 0.33 to 0.71 mm day–1 and from 0.45 to 0.63 mm day–1, respectively. These leptocephali had estimated growth rates that were spread out throughout most of the reported range of growth rates of the leptocephali of the temperate species, the Japanese eel and the Atlantic eels. Differences in the spatial distribution in relation to current systems, and the age and size compositions of the leptocephali of A. bicolor pacifica and A. marmorata suggested different spawning locations for these two species.
KeywordsPacific Ocean Southern Hemisphere Early Life Size Composition Temperate Species
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