Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Congridae
(Conger and garden eels) > Heterocongrinae
Etymology: Heteroconger: Greek, heteros = other + Latin, conger = conger (Ref. 45335); mercyae: Named for Mercy Paine, who discovered the eel colony and helped us collect the type specimens.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 4 - 10 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical
Western Pacific: Philippines, Indonesia (Kaiman, West Papua), but likely to occur as far east as Rabaul, New Britain (based on an underwater photo).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 67.8 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 82435)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 390 - 432;
Vertebrae: 204 - 213. This relatively slender species has the following distinct set of characters: dorsal-fin origin anterior to gill opening; with pterygoid teeth; body depth at gill opening 28.8-35.2% of HL; preanal vertebrae 62-71 (mean = 65), total vertebrae 204-213 (mean 207.4) ; preanal lateral-line
pores 63-69; body colouration consisting of zebra-like black and white barring on head grading to complex black and white maze pattern on body (Ref. 82435).
Collected from a single colony, occupying about 100 sq. m with approximately 50 eels at 5-6 m depth. The bottom is fine, silty sand and influenced by a freshwater stream along the adjacent shoreline, about 100 m distance, with the nearest reef formation about 50 m from the site (Ref. 82435).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann, 2009. Heteroconger mercyae, a new species of garden eel (Congridae: Heterocongrinae) from West Papua, Indonesia. Aqua, Intl. J. Ichthyol. 15(3):135-142. (Ref. 82435)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 28.1 - 29.2, mean 28.8 (based on 246 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00046 - 0.00225), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100) .