Ladder Eel, Scalanago lateralis Whitley 1935

Illustration of a Ladder Eel, Scalanago lateralis. Source: Peter Castle, in Gomon, Glover & Kuiter (eds). (1994) The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. License: All rights reserved

A poorly known pale tan conger eel with a ladder-like lateral line complex.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Scalanago lateralis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Feb 2023,

Ladder Eel, Scalanago lateralis Whitley 1935

More Info


Off Broken Bay to northeast of Tathra, New South Wales, and from Venus Bay, Great Australian Bight, South Australia, to off Geraldton, Western Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand.


Pectoral fin 13; Vertebrae 132.
Body slender, little compressed along tail, depth about 6.5% TL; head length 18-20% TL; mouth not reaching to below middle of eye; jaws with 2-3 rows of small conical teeth; "premaxillary" teeth sharper, in small oval patch, distinct from teeth on vomer; vomerine teeth rounded, in tear-drop shaped patch; gill opening small, mid-lateral. 
Lateral line complex with dorsal and ventral extensions forming ladder-like structure along body from head to near tail tip, each extension with double row of pores; pores also on head.
Dorsal, caudal and anal fins continuous; dorsal-fin origin over middle of small fin origin above middle of pectoral fin, slender pectoral fin.

Species Citation

Scalanago lateralis Whitley 1935, Rec. Aust. Mus. 19(4): 218, fig. 2. Type locality: Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW. 


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Ladder Eel, Scalanago lateralis Whitley 1935


Castle, P.H.J. 1994. Families Serrivomeridae, Muraenidae, Nemichthyidae, Congridae. pp. 205-215 figs 182-191, in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Smith, D.G. 2008. Family Congridae. pp. 174-179, in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Smith, D.G. & Stewart, A.L. 2015. 43 Family Congridae, pp. 269-283, in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Whitley, G.P. 1935. Studies in Ichthyology No. 9. Records of the Australian Museum 19(4): 215-250 figs 1-11 pl. 18 DOI:10.3853/j.0067-1975.19.1935.700 See ref online, open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37067020

Depth:2-150 m

Habitat:Benthic, turbid waters

Max Size:35 cm TL


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