Leptocephalus (Transparent eel)


Leptocephalus is the flat and transparent larva of the eel, marine eels, and other members of the Superorder Elopomorpha. This is the most diverse group of teleosts, containing 801 species over the span of 24 orders, 24 families, and 156 genera. It is supposed that this group arose in the Cretaceous period over 140 million years ago. Fishes with a leptocephalus larva stage include the most familiar eels such as the conger, moray eel, and garden eel, and the freshwater eels of the family Anguillidae, plus more than 10 other families of lesser-known types of marine eels. These are all true eels of the order Anguilliformes. The fishes of the other four traditional orders of elopomorph fishes that have this type of larva are more diverse in their body forms and include the tarpon, bonefish, spiny eel, and pelican eel.

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