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n. pl. lep·to·ceph·a·li (-lī′)
The small, laterally compressed, transparent larva of an eel or of any of certain related fishes, such as a tarpon.

[New Latin : lepto- + cephalus, head (from Greek -kephalos, -headed); see -cephalous.]


n, pl -li (-ˌlaɪ)
(Animals) the slender transparent oceanic larva of eels of the genus Anguilla that migrates from its hatching ground in the Caribbean to European freshwater habitats


(ˌlɛp təˈsɛf ə ləs)

n., pl. -li (-ˌlaɪ)
a ribbony, transparent fish larva of warm seas, esp. that of eels.
[1760–70; < New Latin; see lepto-, -cephalous]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.leptocephalus - slender transparent larva of eels and certain fishesleptocephalus - slender transparent larva of eels and certain fishes
larva - the immature free-living form of most invertebrates and amphibians and fish which at hatching from the egg is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose
subclass Teleostei, Teleostei - large diverse group of bony fishes; includes most living species
References in periodicals archive ?
After hatching from an egg, ladyfish develop into what's known as a leptocephali ("slim head") larvae, which is uncommon given that most fish advance from egg to adult without going through any type of metamorphosis; tarpon (Megalops atlanticus), bonefish, and eels undergo a similar transformation.
Aoyama, J, N Mochioka, T Otake, S Ishikawa, Y Kawakami, P Castle, M Nishida and K Tsukamoto 1999 'Distribution and dispersal of Anguillid Leptocephali in the western Pacific Ocean revealed by molecular analysis', Marine Ecology Progress Series 188:193-200.
Changes in otoliths strontium:calcium ratios in metamorphosing Conger myrisaster leptocephali.
For example, these include notes on oophagy by eels, consumption of eel leptocephali by bluefish, and taxonomy of Cyprinodon.
These leptocephali metamorphosed into juveniles which were abundant in July and October of the same year.
Spawning of Conger oceanicus and Conger triporiceps (Congridae) in the Sargasso Sea and subsequent distribution of leptocephali.
They planned to find this patch of ocean by catching newly hatched eel larvae, called leptocephali.
2% or n=14), and these leptocephali were present from at least December to May (Fig.
Physical and behavioural controls on the oceanic distribution and migration of leptocephali.
Growth of American and European eel leptocephali as revealed by otolith microstructure.