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Anguilla mossambica  (Peters, 1852)

African longfin eel
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
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Anguilla mossambica   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Anguilla mossambica
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Anguillidae (Freshwater eels)
Etymology: Anguilla: Latin, anguilla, .-ae = eel (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; catadromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical; 25°N - 35°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Indian Ocean: east coast rivers of Africa from Kenya south to Cape Agulhas, also Madagascar and other western Indian Ocean islands. Moves well inland. Reported from New Caledonia (Ref. 11889).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3506); 120.0 cm SL (female); max. published weight: 750.00 g (Ref. 5214); max. published weight: 750.00 g; max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 48660)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Anal spines: 0. Olive to greyish black dorsally, lighter ventrally (Ref. 3971). Caudal fin confluent with dorsal and anal.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Migratory species, which breeds in the ocean (Ref. 52331). Inhabits both quiet and fast flowing water (Ref. 13337). Elvers ascend rivers mainly at night and overcome waterfalls and walls of dams with great determination. Adults usually sedentary. Females can attain 120 cm SL and are generally longer and heavier than males (Ref. 48660). Carnivorous, eats dead or living prey but especially fish and crabs. After feeding in fresh water for ten years or more, adults assume a silver breeding dress, the eyes become enlarged and they return to sea to breed. Considered to breed east of Madagascar, but thought to move south of that island on its way to the Mozambique coast and South African rivers (Ref. 13337). Flesh fatty but highly esteemed as smoked or jellied eel (Ref. 5214). Caught with various types of nets (Ref. 4967).

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. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00093 (0.00053 - 0.00163), b=3.20 (3.05 - 3.35), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.3   ±0.55 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (K=0.04).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (81 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.