Leptocephalus larvae of Gymnothorax minor collected from eastern Kyushu were identified by observation of metamorphosis procedure. The leptocephali were characterized by 135-142 total myomeres (31-42 predorsal, 87-95 preanal) and the last vertical blood vessel between myomeres 77-85. Diagnostic pigments were apparent on the head, the somatic (below intestine) and splanchnic (along pronephric ducts) regions, before the dorsal fin origin, ventrally on the spinal cord, and along the dorsal and anal fin bases. Such pigments were suitable for species identification of metamorphosing larvae because of their persistence during that process.
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