Is the elusive Gymnothorax polyuranodon really a freshwater moray?

Ebner, B.C., Kroll, B., Godfrey, P., Thuesen, P.A., Vallance, T., Pusey, B., Allen, G.R., Rayner, T.S., and Perna, C.N. (2011) Is the elusive Gymnothorax polyuranodon really a freshwater moray? Journal of Fish Biology, 79 (1). pp. 70-79.

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Abstract

Analysis of 36 records of the rarely encountered moray Gymnothorax polyuranodon indicate that juveniles and adults inhabit fresh and mildly brackish habitats (salinity < 5) in streams of the Australian Wet Tropics Eighty-one per cent of these records were from freshwater streams and collectively demonstrate that this species inhabits fresh water throughout all seasons. A survey of fish researchers, each with at least 100 h of field experience in Australia's Wet Tropics, revealed that 33% of researchers working in fresh waters (nine of 27 researchers) had encountered the species and 15% of researchers with substantial experience working in estuaries (two of 13 researchers) had encountered the species. The species was not sampled or observed in the nearshore marine environment. The only record of an elver of this species was, however, found in an estuary at a salinity of 33·4. This preliminary evidence suggests adult G. polyuranodon occupy freshwater habitats, but further research is required to understand the complete life cycle, including movements, habitat use and reproductive ecology of the species.

Item ID: 21310
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Anguilliformes; elusive species; expert knowledge; Muraenidae; rarity; salinity
ISSN: 1095-8649
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2012 04:25
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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