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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
This is particularly evident for Central Stoneroller Campostoma anomalum, which frequently visits nests of host Bluehead Chub Nocomis leptocephalus but also spawns separately.
Allain, "Low occurrence rates of ubiquitously present leptocephalus larvae in the stomach contents of predatory fish," ICES Journal of Marine Science, vol.
(1864) [U]ber einige neue Saugethiere (Mormops, Macrotus, Vesperus, Molossus, Capromys), Amphibien (Platydactylus, Otocryptis, Euprepes, Ungalia, Dromicus, Tropidonotus, Xenodon, Hylodes) und Fische (Sillago, Sebastes, Channa, Myctophum, Carassius, Barbus, Capoeta, Poecilia, Saurenchelys, Leptocephalus).
In stage I (leptocephalus), the leptocephali body is long, transparent, and the head is small; the teeth appear fang-like.
These eels are known only from leptocephalus larvae, but some have been found with developing eggs, leading to speculation that the species is either neotenic or the adult stage is extremely short-lived (Eschmeyer and others 1983; Mecklenburg and others 2002).
* Leptocephalus larvae of three families of eels (Chlop-sidae, Congridae, and Muraenidae) coil when sus-pended in water, and at least the latter two families exhibit both clockwise and counterclockwise coiling in published figures (Miller, 2009; Miller et al., 2013).
Based on examination of a large number of leptocephalus larvae, Smith (1989) pointed out that there were two forms, probably different species, of Elops in the western Atlantic.
Sequences (GenBank accession numbers) from five species of Campostoma (DQ324062.1, DQ324063.1, DQ324064.1, DQ324065.1, EU082476.1, EU082477.1) and Nocomis leptocephalus (EU082468.1) were included as outgroup taxa.
The recruitment dynamic of Elops hawaiensis leptocephalus in Gongshtyan creek estuary of northern Taiwan.
lindbergi (Layman, 1930); Yamaguti, 1934; Siddiqi and Cable, 1960 from Leptocephalus conger, Synodus sp.
Three species (Cyprinella vesnusta eurystoma, Nocomis leptocephalus, and Ictalurus punctatus) were said to be abundant, suggesting that numerous specimens were originally obtained.