Monday, December 31, 2012

Eels of Fiji October 15, 2008, Fiji Post issued a set of four stamps feature the Fresh Water Eels. The 50 c and $1.50 stamps present  Anguilla obscura, meanwhile the 90c stamp presents Anguilla marmorata, and the $2.0 stamp presents Gymnothorax polyuranodon.

Anguilla obscura is belongs to the group of anguillas which have a short dorsal fin which originates slightly before the anus.
Inhabits freshwater streams, lakes and swamps, favouring coastal lagoons and the lower reaches of rivers. Spawning adults occur in marine waters. Sub-adults spend most of their lives in fresh or brackish waters. Found in large turbid rivers and small creeks . Occurs both in running and stagnant waters.  Feeds mainly on fishes, crustaceans and mollusks.

The marbled eel or Anguilla marmorata, is a species of tropical anguillid eel that is found in the Indo-Pacific and adjacent freshwater habitats.

The marbled eel is cylindrical with small, well-developed pectoral fins and a protruding lower jaw.The eel has thick, fleshy lips.The eel has dorsal and anal fins that are continuous around the tail, with the origin of the dorsal-fin origin between the pectoral fins and anus. It has small, oval-shaped scales that are embedded in the skin.

It can grow up to 2 meters  for females and 1.5 meters  for males and can weigh up to 20.5 kilograms. The marbled eel can live up to about 40 years.

Anguilla obscura or the Pacific Shortfin Eel has a snake-like body with a small head, jaws reaching well past the eye.

The Pacific Shortfin Eel is uniform silver or yellowish to dark brown, becoming paler below. The dorsal fin originates before the anus, just in front of, or level with the anal fin origin, and the jaws reach beyond the eye.

Gymnothorax polyuranodon is a moray eel found in the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as in regions of freshwater. It is commonly known as the Freshwater moray, Manytoothed moray, or the Spotted freshwater moray eel.

Gymnothorax polyuranodon is grey and has numerous yellow to golden spots spread on the dorsal and lateral part of the body.With age the yellow spots become smaller giving the adults a more or less uniform grey appearance. They are common in the Sundaban mangrove swamps in East India, but they are also distributed in Indonesia, the Philippines and the Adaman Islands. The species reaches a maximum length of 60 cm .

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