Froghead Eel, Coloconger raniceps Alcock 1889

Illustration of a Froghead Eel, Coloconger raniceps. Source: Pl. 8, in Brauer (1906) Die Tiefsee-Fische v. 15. License: CC by Attribution

A short, stubby purplish-black congrid eel with a short, blunt snout and a black peritoneum.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Coloconger raniceps in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024,

Froghead Eel, Coloconger raniceps Alcock 1889

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Continental Slope east of Hat Head, New South Wales, depth 420-585 m. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west Pacific.


Dorsal fin 210-214; Anal fin 115-119; Pectoral fin 22; Lateral-line pores before anus 69; vertebrae 145.
Body short, stubby; snout short, blunt, length 3/4 eye diameter; anus positioned well behind mid-length; maxillary and mandibular teeth uniserial; intermaxillary teeth in 2 transverse rows, posterior row continuous with maxillary teeth; vomerine teeth absent; dorsal-fin origin over or slightly behind pectoral-fin base; dorsal fin considerably higher than anal fin.


Taken in deep bottom trawls.


The specific name raniceps is from the Latin rana (= frog) and ceps (= head), in reference to the "broad, massive, frog-like" head of this species.

Species Citation

Coloconger raniceps Alcock 1889, Annals and Magazine of Natural History 6 4(24): 456 [32]. Type locality: Andaman Sea off Ross Island, Investigator station 13, depth 265-271 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Froghead Eel, Coloconger raniceps Alcock 1889


Alcock, A.W. 1889. Natural history notes from H.M. Indian marine survey steamer Investigator, Commander Alfred Carpenter, R.N., D.S.O., commanding.— No. 13. On the bathybial fishes of the Bay of Bengal and neighbouring waters, obtained during the seasons 1885-1889. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 6 4(24): 450-461 See ref at BHL

Alcock, A.W. 1892.  Illustrations of the zoology of the Royal Indian marine surveying steamer Investigator,...Fishes. Calcutta. Part 1: no p., Pls. 1-7.

Brauer, A. 1906. Die Tiefsee-Fische. 1. Systematischer Teil. in Chun, C. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition auf dem Dampfer "Valdivia" 1898–1899 15(1): 1-432 figs 1-176 pls 1-18 See ref at BHL

da Silva, J.P.C.B., Datovo, A. & Johnson, G.D. 2019. Phylogenetic interrelationships of the eel families Derichthyidae and Colocongridae (Elopomorpha: Anguilliformes) based on the pectoral skeleton. Journal of Morphology 280: 934– 947.

Ho, H.-C., Tang, C.-N. & Chu, T.-W.  2021. Coloconger maculatus sp. nov., a species of short-tail eel from eastern Taiwan (Anguilliformes: Colocongridae). Zootaxa 5016(2): 271-282.

Psomadakis, P., Thein, H., Russell, B.C. & Tun, M.T. 2020. Field identification guide to the living marine resources of Myanmar. FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. FAO and Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Rome: i-xvii + 1-694, pls. 1-58.

Smith, D.G. 1989. Family Colocongridae. pp. 413–419 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.

Smith, D.G. 1999. Families Colocongridae, Derichthyidae, Muraenesocidae, Nemichtyhyidae, Congridae, Nettastomatidae, Serrivomeridae, Cyematidae, Saccopharyngidae, Eurypharyngidae, Monognathidae. pp. 1670-1697 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37067041

Depth:300-1134 m

Habitat:Demersal, Continental Slope

Max Size:50 cm TL

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