Common Pike Eel, Muraenesox bagio Click to enlarge image
A 1.4 m long (4.7 kg) Common Pike Eel caught in a mesh net by a commercial fisher, Lake Curalo, New South Wales, May 2004. Image: Ian Merrington
© Ian Merrington/ DPI Fisheries

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    bagio
    Genus
    Muraenesox
    Family
    Muraenesocidae
    Order
    Anguilliformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Common Pike Eel grows to about 1.8 m in length.

Introduction

The Common Pike Eel occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific on soft-bottomed estuaries and coastal waters. It's a nocturnal species that feeds on benthic fishes and crustaceans.

Identification

The Common Pike Eel has an elongate body that lacks scales. It has long slender jaws and large pointed teeth at the front of the lower jaw and on the vomer. The vomerine teeth are triangular in lateral view and have straight leading edges.


Common Pike Eel, Muraenesox bagio
Vomerine teeth (the row on the roof of the mouth) of a 1.4 m long (4.7 kg) Common Pike Eel caught in a mesh net by a commercial fisher, Lake Curalo, New South Wales, May 2004. Image: Ian Merrington
© Ian Merrington @ DPI Fisheries

Habitat

The species occurs in soft-bottomed estuaries and coastal waters down to about 100 m in depth.

Distribution

It occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Feeding and diet

It feeds on benthic fishes and crustaceans.

References

  1. Smith, D. G. 1999. Muraenesocidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-vi, 1398-2068.