The oceanic early life histories of three species of tropical anguillid glass eels, namely Anguilla marmorata, Anguilla megastoma and Anguilla obscura, recruiting to Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, in the western South Pacific, were studied using otolith microstructures of 94 individuals. A. megastoma had the shortest leptocephalus duration, age at recruitment and metamorphosis stage (mean ± s.d. 104.7 ± 7.2, 141.3 ± 8.7 and 36.6 ± 8.5 days respectively), followed by A. marmorata (September-October recruitment peak: 113.0 ± 11.9, 115.1 ± 8.3 and 39.2 ± 11.1 days respectively; April recruitment peak: 152.2 ± 13.5, 154.0 ± 12.5 and 38.9 ± 10.1 days respectively) and A. obscura (118.0 ± 10.2, 168.4 ± 16.5 and 49.6 ± 12.5 days respectively). A. obscura also had the shortest oceanic glass eel duration of (12.2 ± 3.4 days), followed by both peaks of A. marmorata (23.3 ± 3.2 and 20.2 ± 3.3 days) and A. megastoma (20.7 ± 6.7 days). Otolith increment rates during the leptocephalus stage did not differ significantly among the three species, but there were significant differences between the leptocephalus duration and metamorphosis stage of A. megastoma compared with A. marmorata and A. obscura, as well as in the oceanic glass eel duration of A. obscura compared with A. marmorata and A. megastoma. There were also significant differences in the age at recruitment among all three species. Back-calculated hatch dates suggest separate peak seasonal spawning periods for each of the three species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science