Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 5, pp 1101–1111 | Cite as

Distribution and ecology of leptocephali of the congrid eel, Ariosoma scheelei, around Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

  • Michael J. MillerEmail author
  • Sam Wouthuyzen
  • Gen Minagawa
  • Jun Aoyama
  • Katsumi Tsukamoto
Research Article


A survey for leptocephali around Sulawesi Island in the central Indonesian Seas during May 2001 found that the leptocephali of the congrid eel, Ariosoma scheelei, were present in all seven areas that were sampled. A total of 551 leptocephali (22–166 mm TL) were collected, and A. scheelei was by far the most abundant species of leptocephali collected during the survey. The wide range of sizes in most areas indicated that spawning had occurred during a period of several months in many different areas, although the exact spawning locations were not determined. The larger size classes were more abundant in all areas except in Tomini Bay on the northeast side of Sulawesi Island. The highest catch rates were observed at the eastern edge of the Java Sea and to the north in the Celebes Sea near Makassar Strait. Premetamorphic leptocephali were also collected in surface samples at 11 stations (N=62), but metamorphosing leptocephali (N=86) were only caught in IKMT tows that fished from the surface to about 200 m. Metamorphosing leptocephali were collected primarily at two stations in the Java Sea and Makassar Strait where a surface layer of lower-salinity water was detected. Their total lengths (105.3–153.3 mm) and the largest premetamorphic individuals suggested that this species can reach maximum sizes of about 165 mm before beginning to metamorphose. It is hypothesized that this species may be abundant in the Indonesian Seas region and that it has ecological traits such as large size at recruitment and a small size at reproduction that have made it successful in many regions of the Indo-Pacific.


Catch Rate Mixed Salinity Layer High Catch Rate Myomere Count Isaacs Kidd Midwater Trawl 
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We are grateful to the captain, crew and technicians of the R/V Baruna Jaya VII for their help in carrying out the sampling survey around Sulawesi Island. This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid numbers 1299346, 11691177 and 12NP0201 from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, Japan, and by grant Numbers JSPS-RFTF 97L00901 from the “Research for the Future Program” of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. KT was supported by the Research Foundation “Touwa Shokuhin Shinkoukai” and the Eel Research Foundation “Noborikai”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Miller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sam Wouthuyzen
    • 2
  • Gen Minagawa
    • 1
  • Jun Aoyama
    • 1
  • Katsumi Tsukamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Research Center for OceanographyIndonesian Institute of SciencesJakartaIndonesia

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