PORT PHILLIP BAY


Common Shore Eel 

Alabes dorsalis (Richardson, 1845)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: -
Anal fin spines/rays: -
Caudal fin rays: 7-8
Pectoral fin rays: -
Ventral fin spines/rays: 3
Lateral line: -
Vertebrae: 66-78

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A large and highly diverse group of modern bony fishes many of which have a generalized perch like body form. Most have pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth. Interrelationships of the group are poorly understood and continue to be studied. They inhabit almost all aquatic habitats from high-altitude strams to the deep sea, although most are marine.

Family level detail.
Except for the shore eels of the genus Alabes, most gobiesocids have pelvic fins modified into an obvious sucking disc on the underside of the body. Clingfishes usually have large flattened heads and tapering compressed bodies, with small dorsal and anal fins positioned far back near the tail. They have fin spines and lack scales. Shore eels are elongate, moderately-compressed and eel-like, with long-based dorsal and anal fins united with the tail, and a gill slit on the underside. Their pelvic fins are either minute or absent, and they lack fin spines, pectoral fins and scales.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Gobiesocidae
Subfamily:
Cheilobranchinae
Genus:
Alabes
Species:
dorsalis

General Description

Body long, slender, eel-like, with long-based dorsal and anal-fins united with the tail; pelvic fins reduced to a tiny sucking disc on the underside behind the gill slit; pectoral fins absent; head short with a single sensory pore above and behind the eye; mouth small, just reaching to below front of eye. Plain or mottled greenish to brownish, often with large blackish spots or blotches along midsides. To 12 cm.

Biology

Rarely seen, although common and abundant in shallow inshore waters including rock-pools, among algae, rocky rubble and shells.

Habitat

Inshore temperate waters including rock-pools, in depths of 0-30 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Clingfishes and shore-eels

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

12 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Common Shore Eel, Alabes dorsalis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6349

Text: creative commons cc by licence