Macrognathus pentophthalmos (Gronow in Gray, 1854:172)

Sri Lankan spiny eel



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Mastacembelus pentophthalmos Gronow in Gray, 1854:172


Conservation Status

Last record: 1980's or later

Rediscovered in 2015 or before (Da Silva et al., 2015)

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)


Only a single individual has recently been found next to a rice paddy (Da Silva et al., 2015), and the viability of the wild population is not yet demonstrated.



Sri Lanka


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Gronow in: Gray, J. E. (1854). Catalogue of fish collected and described by Laurence Theodore Gronow, now in the British Museum, London. Trustees of the British Museum, London. vii + 196 pp.

Other references:

De Silva, M., Hapuarachchi, N. and Jayaratne, T. (2015). Sri Lankan Freshwater Fishes. Wildlife Conservation Society - Galle.

Fernado, M., Kotagama, O. & de Alwis Goonatilake, S. (2019). Macrognathus pentophthalmos. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T196298A150839257. Accessed on 13 November 2022.

Goonatilake, Sampath de Alwis. (2012). The Taxonomy and Conservation Status of the Freshwater Fishes in Sri Lanka, pp. 77-87. In: The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka: Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara Eds., Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. viii + 476 pp.

Pethiyagoda, Rohan, Silva, Anjana, Maduwage, Kalana and Kariyawasam. (2008). The Sri Lankan spiny eel, Macrognathus pentophthalmos (Teleostei: Mastacembelidae), and its enigmatic decline. Zootaxa 1931: 37-48. [Abstract]


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