ability to regulate salinity) are undeveloped in leptocephali, they probably spawn offshore because leptocephali aren't able to regulate the dramatic environmental changes found in typical estuarine and inshore waters.
One researcher also reported that juvenile ladyfish were cannibalistic, preying upon late-metamorphic leptocephali.
By the time the leptocephali reach shallow offshore waters, they have transformed into colorless "glass eels.
About 800 Japanese ell leptocephali passed under those microscopes before the sun rose and the animals could no longer be caught.
Miller, who studies leptocephali from species other than the Japanese eel, pointed out that his catches of non-Anguilla leptocephali seemed to concentrate south of a frontal zone -- a region where salinity changes quite rapidly.
While sorting through bowls of the leptocephali brought to the ship's lab, they found one very tiny eel larva.
Electrophoretic evidence for two species of Anguilla leptocephali in the Sargasso Sea.
Do leptocephali of the European eel swim to reach continental waters?
Comparini and Rodino (1982) used electrophoretic analysis on American and European eel (Anguilla anguilla) leptocephali to confirm that both spawn in the Sargasso Sea.
Absorption of increments during metamorphosis (Cieri and McCleave, 2000) is possible, but our studies could not shed any light on this proposed phenomenon because all leptocephali had metamorphosed before reaching North Carolina.