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Author: Vaillant, 1882

Eurypharynx pelecanoides Vaillant, 1882

Diagnosis: small but distinct eyes near tip of snout. Minute teeth. Dorsal fin origin above head and well in front of gill openings, the latter small and placed very low on body; rudimentary pectoral fins immediately behind gill openings. Caudal organ cylindrical with blunt tip, divided into a black dorsal portion and a transparent ventral portion. Colour: black. Size: rarely more than 100 cm.

Habitat: bathypelagic. Food: carnivorous. Reproduction: oviparous; leptocephalus larvae.

Distribution: in the Atlantic southwards from Iceland, not recorded in the Mediterranean. Elsewhere, in tropical and temperate parts of all oceans

Eggs, larvae and young stages. According to Orton (1963) 'available evidence, including metamorphosing specimens, supports the provisional identification of Leptocephalus pseudolatissimus (described as larva of Saccopharynx) as the larval stage of Eurypharynx'.
Leptocephalus pseudo-latissimus Bertin, 1936, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 203: 1540 (121 ex. from Cruises of 'Thor' and 'Dana').
Leptocephalus pseudo-latissimus: Bertin, 1938: 16, fig. 13-14 | Nybelin, 1948: 49.
Leptocephalus pseudolatissimus: Grey, 1955: 290 | Orton, 1963: 11 | Bahlke, 1966: 606.
Literature records three metamorphosing larvae (= 'semilarvae'): Leptocephalus gastrostomi bairdii: Leaj 1910: 35, pl. VI (fig. 5).
Leptocephalus pseudo-latissimus: Bertin, 1938: 17. Larva of Eurypharynx sp.: Tchernavin, 1947: 299, fig. 1.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Pelican eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides)