Springer's Shore Eel, Alabes springeri Hutchins 2006

Other Names: Springer's Shore Eel

AIllustration of Alabes springeri (holotype AMS I.18497-001 ), from Emily Bay, Norfolk Island, Tasman Sea. Source: Victor Springer, in Hutchins, 2006, Mem. Mus. Victoria 63(1): 28, Fig 2. License: All rights reserved

Known only from a single small specimen collected in shallow water in Emily Bay, Norfolk Island. Alabes springeri is unique in having a swollen throat region, only two head pores, a very short-based dorsal fin-fold and slender triangular bars on the abdomen.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Alabes springeri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jan 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4763

Springer's Shore Eel, Alabes springeri Hutchins 2006

More Info


Known only from Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. The holotype was collected in  Emily Bay, in a depth of 1 metre.


Cephalic pores 2; Vertebrae 71.

Unique in lacking a pelvic fin rudiment, and in having a very small gill opening (8.8 in HL), a narrow interorbital space (8.8 in HL), only two cephalic pores in the lateral line system and an extremely short dorsal fin-fold beginning far back on the body well behind a positon above the urogenital papilla.


31 mm SL.


Colour in life unknown. In preservative, overall pale brown, fins somewhat translucent, with slender triangular bands on the abdomen.


Little is known of the biology of shore eels.

Similar Species

Differs from Alabes parvula in having an extremely short-based dorsal fin-fold, slender triangular bars on sides of abdomen and a bulbous throat.


Named springeri in honour of Dr Vic Springer of the United States National Museum, who, along with Dr Tom Fraser in 1976, first reported the uniqueness of this specimen from Norfolk Island.

Species Citation

Alabes springeri Hutchins 2006, Mem. Mus.Vict. 63(1): 27, Fig. 2. Type locality: Port Hunter, 29°04'S, 167°57'E, Emily Bay, Norfolk Island, depth 1 metre.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Springer's Shore Eel, Alabes springeri Hutchins 2006


Hutchins, B. 2006. Description of two new species of shore-eels (Gobiesocidae: Cheilobranchinae: Alabes) from south-eastern Australia and Norfolk Island. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 63(1): 25-28. See ref at BHL

Hutchins, B. & Morrison, S. 2004. Five new fish species of the genus Alabes (Gobiesocidae: Cheilobranchinae). Records of the Australian Museum 56: 147-158 DOI 10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1426 Open access

Springer, V.G. & Fraser, T.H. 1976. Synonymy of the fish families Cheilobranchidae (=Alabetidae) and Gobiesocidae, with descriptions of two new species of Alabes. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 234: 1-23 figs 1-14 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.234 Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37206037

Depth:1 metre

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:3.1 cm SL

Native:Endemic to Norfolk Island

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