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J Fish Biol. 2011 Jul;79(1):70-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.02987.x. Epub 2011 May 25.

Is the elusive Gymnothorax polyuranodon really a freshwater moray?

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Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, Qld 4111, Australia.


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 33ยท4. 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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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