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Protanguilla palau  Johnson, Ida & Sakaue, 2011

Palauan primitive cave eel
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Image of Protanguilla palau (Palauan primitive cave eel)
Protanguilla palau
Picture by Johnson, G.D.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Protanguillidae (Protoanguillids)
Etymology: Protanguilla: Name from the Greek 'protos' meaning first, and Latin 'anguilla' for eel; referring to the early divergence of the genus among anguilliforms.;  palau: Named for its type locality; noun in appostion (Ref. 87802).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 35 - ? m (Ref. 87802).   Tropical; 9°N - 6°N, 134°E - 135°E

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 17.6 cm TL (female)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Gill opening terminates as ovoid tube with low, fringed collar; pseudobranch present; knob-like, toothed gill rakers present; premaxilla present, autogenous; symplectic autogenous; metapterygoid present; anterior end of vomer with small, ovoid, autogenous toothplate; body relatively short, total vertebrae 87 or fewer (79–87, mean ¼ 83.3); hypurals 3 and 4 not fused to each other; pterosphenoid not excluded from posterior margin of orbit (Ref. 87802).

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

Western Pacific: Republic of Palau. Presently known from a western fringing reef of Ngemelis Island, in a reef cave at 35 m depth. As an elopomorph, it almost certainly has a leptocephalus larval form, and letptocephali (particularly those of anguilliforms) are known to have long planktonic durations (2-10 months). Accordingly, the authors believe that Protoanguilla probably has a considerably broader distribution than currently known, even though no leptocephali matching its unique meristic formula (fewer than 90 vertebrae, more than 170 dorsal fin and anal fin rays) have been identified in extensive worldwide larval fish collections. In any case, historically, the Protoanguilla lineage, estimated to have diverged ca 200Ma, must have been much more widely distributed, because the Palau-Kyushu Ridge formed only around 60-70 Ma (Ref. 87802).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Cave species (Ref. 87802).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Johnson, G.D., H. Ida, J. Sakaue, T. Sado, T. Asahida and M. Miya, 2011. A 'living fossil' eel (Anguilliformes: Protanguillidae, fam. nov.) from an undersea cave in Palau. Proc. Royal Soc. B 279(1730):934-943. (Ref. 87802)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki |

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00046 - 0.00225), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .