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Free Content Sexual Dimorphism in Size and Vertebral Number in the Western Atlantic Eel Moringua Edwardsi (Anguilliformes, Moringuidae)

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Mature males of M. edwardsi (Jordan and Bollman) are 115-155 mm TL and have 109-117 vertebrae (x = 112.6). Females with clearly recognizable ova are conspicuously larger, 245-360 mm TL, and have 116-124 vertebrae (x = 119.4). A matching bimodality in myomere numbers occurs in leptocephali with frequency peaks at 113-114 and 119-120 indicating males and females respectively. Sex is probably therefore determined by karyotypic features. Type specimens, where still available, of the other nominal species of western Atlantic Moringua examined conform with either male or female counts and it is concluded that there is but the single species, M. edwardsi, in the Atlantic. Similar bimodality in vertebral numbers occurs in at least one Indo-Pacific species and may be typical for Moringua.

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: October 1, 1976

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