True Eels, Eels
Compiler and date details
18 August 2012 - Dianne J. Bray, John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates & Douglass F. Hoese
The order Anguilliformes comprises 20 families with about 820 species in four suborders: Anguilloidei, Congroidei, Muraenoidei and Saccopharyngoidei (Wiley & Johnson 2010). Nelson (2006) followed Robins (1989) in placing members of the Saccopharyngoidei in their own order, whereas morphological analyses of Forey et al. (1996) and molecular analyses of Inoue et al. (2004) placed the saccopharyngoids within the Anguilliformes. Johnson et al. (2011) described a new monotypic family, genus and species of true eel with a definite caudal fin. The species is considered to be the most primitive living member of the Anguilliformes. Tang & Fielitz (2013) provided a molecular phylogeny of the family Muraenidae with a revised classification of true eels.
True eels live in a variety of diverse habitats from fresh water and shallow coastal waters, to bathypelagic waters and the abyssal plains of the deep sea. Species have continuous dorsal, caudal and anal fins are continuous, and lack pelvic fins. All have a unique ribbon-like leptocephalus larva, a feature shared with the Albuliformes, Elopiformes and Notacanthiformes. Adults and larvae of several species are discussed in Böhlke (1989).
Böhlke, E.B. (ed.) 1989. Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Volume One: Orders Anguilliformes and Saccopharyngiformes. Volume Two: Leptocephali. Yale University : The Sears Foundation for Marine Research Part 9, 1055 pp.
Forey, P.L., Littlewood, D.T.J., Ritchie, P. & Meyer, A. 1996. Interrelationships of elopomorph fishes. pp. 175-192 in Stiassny, M.L.J., Parenti, L.R. & Johnson, G.D. (eds). Interrelationships of Fishes. San Diego : Academic Press 496 pp.
Inoue, J.G., Miya, M., Tsukamoto, K. & Nishida, M. 2004. Mitogenomic evidence for the monophyly of elopomorph fishes (Teleostei) and the evolutionary origin of the leptocephalus larva. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32(1): 274-286 [Date published July 2004]
Johnson, D.G., Ida, H., Sakaue, J., Sado, T., Asahida, T. & Miya, M. 2011. A 'living fossil' eel (Anguilliformes: Protoanguillidae, fam. nov.) from an undersea cave in Palau. Proceedings of the Royal Society B [Date published published online 17 August 2011]
Robins, C.R. 1989. The phylogenetic relationships of the anguilliform fishes. pp. 9-23 in Böhlke, E.B. (ed.). Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Orders Anguilliformes and Saccopharyngiformes. New Haven : The Sears Foundation of Marine Research, Yale University Pt 9 Vol. 1 655 pp.
Tang, K.L. & Fielitz, C. 2013. Phylogeny of moray eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae), with a revised classification of true eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha: Anguilliformes). Mitochondrial DNA 24(1): 55-66.
Wiley, E.O. & Johnson, G.D. 2010. A teleost classification based on monophyletic groups. pp. 123-182 in Nelson, J.S., Schultze, H.-P. & Wilson, M.V.H. Origin and Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Teleosts. München, Germany : Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil 480 pp.
Common Name References
Johnson, D.G., Ida, H., Sakaue, J., Sado, T., Asahida, T. & Miya, M. 2011. A 'living fossil' eel (Anguilliformes: Protoanguillidae, fam. nov.) from an undersea cave in Palau. Proceedings of the Royal Society B [Date published published online 17 August 2011] (True Eels)