are found in the offshore coastal waters (5-20 miles) of the southeastern United States, including the Gulf of Mexico.
Hence, if spawning occurs in late-summer or early-fall, then it is probable that it would take approximately 3 to 5 months for ladyfish leptocephali
larvae to migrate from offishore waters to protected low salinity nearshore estuaries (i.e.
In late July, on a national holiday noted for eel feasts, Japanese newspapers heralded the team's success in finding Japanese eel leptocephali
. Science works that way sometimes.
Species assemblages of leptocephali
in the Sargasso Sea and Florida Current.
(1988) postulated that Albula leptocephali
from the Gulf of California have a larval duration of 6-7 months; during winter and spring months the larvae actively move into shallow, lagoon nurseries in the first hours of a nocturnal flood tide, where they metamorphose into juveniles (Pfeiler 1984).
captured in the Gulf of Maine, and his largest individual of 49 mm TL (which would shrink during metamorphosis) was 130 d.
Early in the last century, the Danish oceanographer Johannes Schmidt succeeded in collecting small anguillid leptocephali
in the Sargasso Sea thousands of kilometers away from their growth habitats in Europe and North America, which indicated that the two species of Atlantic fresh-water eels make remarkably long spawning migrations (1).
and other transparent fish larvae from the south-eastern Atlantic ocean.
Physical and behavioural controls on the oceanic distribution and migration of leptocephali
Mean size of larvae, however, was smaller in samples from the finer-mesh nets than in samples from the coarser-mesh nets for 4 groups: total fish larvae (all taxa combined, excluding unidentified larvae), Leptocephali
and Syngnathidae (combined), Sciaenidae (the family that includes the red drum), and unidentified larvae.
Takeshige et al., "Vertical distribution and assemblage structure of leptocephali
in the North Equatorial Current region of the western Pacific," Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol.
2007: Distribution of leptocephali
of the freshwater eels, genus Anguilla, in the waters off west Sumatra in the Indian Ocean.