Common Pike Eel, Muraenesox bagio (Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822)
Common Pike Conger
The Common Pike Eel can be distinguished from the Darkfin Conger Eel, Muraenesox cinereus, by its narrower head and differences in the number of dorsal fin rays, vertebrae and pores in the lateral line. The Darkfin Conger Eel is restricted to tropical waters from north-western Western Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
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.
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.
The species occurs in soft-bottomed estuaries and coastal waters down to about 100 m in depth.
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.
- 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.