Pacific Long-finned Eel, Anguilla megastoma Kaup 1856

Other Names: Polynesian Longfin Eel, Polynesian Longfinned Eel
A variegated or plain-coloured freshwater eel: juveniles are variegated, and become plain-coloured as they develop. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Anguilla megastoma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Dec 2020,

Pacific Long-finned Eel, Anguilla megastoma Kaup 1856

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Queensland wet tropics. Elsewhere the species occurs from Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia to Pitcairn Island.
Inhabits the headwaters of freshwater river and streams. Adults migrate to spawn in the open ocean, with spawning areas thought to be somewhere in the Southern Equatorial Current (SEC).


Vertebrae 110-114.


Feeds on crustaceans, gastropods and a range of insects including heteroptera and odonata.

Species Citation

Anguilla megastoma Kaup 1856, Catalogue of the apodal fish in the collection of the British Museum: 34, fig. Type locality: Mangareva, Gambier Islands, French Polynesia.


Bray, D.J. 2018

Pacific Long-finned Eel, Anguilla megastoma Kaup 1856


Allen, G.R. 1991. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of New Guinea. Publication No. 9 of the Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea. 1-268, Pls. 1-18.

Ebner, B.C., Morgan, D.L., et al. 2016. Enhancing conservation of Australian freshwater ecosystems: Identification of freshwater flagship fishes and relevant target audiences. Fish and Fisheries 17(4): 1134-1151

Ege, V.A. 1939. A revision of the genus Anguilla Shaw. DANA Report 16: 8-256.

Jacoby, D. & Gollock, M. 2014. Anguilla megastoma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T196301A2443332. Downloaded on 08 October 2018.

Marquet, G. 1996. The freshwater eels (Anguillidae) of New Caledonia: taxonomy and distribution. Vie Milieu 46(1): 65-71.  

Marquet, G. & Galzin, R. 1991. The eels of French Polynesia: Taxonomy, distribution and biomass. Bulletin de la Société franco-japonaise d'Océanographie 29(1): 8-17.

Miller, M.J. 2003. The Worldwide Distribution of Anguillid Leptocephali. Eel Biology: 157-168.  

Schabetsberger, R., Økland, F., Aarestrup, K., Kalfatak, D., Sichrowsky, U., Tambets, M., Dall’Olmo, G., Kaiser, R. & Miller, P.I. 2013. Oceanic migration behaviour of tropical Pacific eels from Vanuatu. Marine Ecology Progress Series 475: 177-190.

Watanabe, S., Miller, M.J., Aoyama, J. & Tsukamoto, K. 2011. Analysis of vertebral counts of the tropical anguillids, Anguilla megastoma, A. obscura, and A. reinhardtii, in the western South Pacific in relation to their possible population structure and phylogeny. Environmental Biology of Fishes 91(3): 353-360.

Kaup, J.J. 1856. Catalogue of the apodal fish in the collection of the British Museum. London. 1-163, Pls. 1-19. See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Habitat:Adults freshwater; larvae marine

Max Size:165 cm SL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map