Category: Fishes | Resource

Purple spaghetti-eel, Moringua raitaborua (Hamilton, 1822)

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Anguilliformes (Eels)
Suborder: Anguilloidei
Family: Moringuidae (Spaghetti eels)
Genus: Moringua
Species: M. raitaborua

Synonym: Muraena raitaborua Hamilton, 1822

Common/local names
English: Purple spaghetti-eel
Bangladesh: Rata Boura (রাটা বউরা)

Distributions: Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and India (Gangetic estuary of West Bengal) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Not threatened in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body extremely elongate but sometimes relatively short and thick. Trunk cylindrical and tail slightly compressed. Head not conspicuous from rest of the body, its length 8 to 10 times in total length. Gill opening a slit before base of pectoral and jaws equal. Eyes small, situated nearer to angle of mouth than to tip of snout. Posterior and anterior nostrils are holes in head. Teeth pointed, directed backwards in a single row, along maxillary, mandible and vomer (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Dorsal slightly developed. Pectorals small, rounded and equaling the cleft of mouth. Pelvics absent. Caudal rounded. Both dorsal and anal fins interrupted in their middle and posteriorly joined to caudal (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Head 8.2-9.0 in standard, height 30.0-33.0 in total length; tail 2.6-3.0 in total length. Distance between snout and vent 1.5-1.6 in total length (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Body color coppery, olive or even purplish above, becoming silvery or yellowish white below (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Upper part of the body above lateral line with minute black spots. Margin of tip of tail stained black (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Maximum lengths: 25.9 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 30cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Habitats: Inhibits estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Found in estuaries and rivers of Bangladesh and India (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000; Rahman, 1989 and 2005), fairly common in rivers Meghna and Dakatia near Chandpur of Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Fishery info: Of no interest to fisheries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

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REFERENCES

Hamilton F (1822) An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh & London. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches.: i-vii + 1-405, Pls. 1-39.

IUCN Bangladesh (2000) Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 45-46.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 60-61.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 1, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 77-78.

 

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Research student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. More...

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