Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 1–6 | Cite as

Arrival of an Australian anguillid eel in New Zealand: an example of transoceanic dispersal

  • Robert M. McDowall
  • Donald J. Jellyman
  • Lucette H. Dijkstra


Anguilla reinhardtii, hitherto known from eastern Australia, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, and Lord Howe Island, has recently been discovered in rivers of northern New Zealand. Identification, based on morphological and genetic characteristics, is unequivocal; eight consecutive year classes have been found. The only reasonable explanation of this occurrence is transoceanic dispersal to New Zealand, probably from subtropical oceanic spawning grounds north of New Zealand. This corroborates past hypotheses that the strongly diadromous freshwater fish fauna of New Zealand is derived by transoceanic dispersal of known marine life intervals.

biogeography Anguilla fish 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. McDowall
    • 1
  • Donald J. Jellyman
    • 1
  • Lucette H. Dijkstra
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchChristchurchNew Zealand

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