Leptocephalus is a genus that was used for species of larval eels, called leptocephali, that were thought to be new fish species, or whose adult eel species were not known. Leptocephali differ so much in appearance from their adults that the larvae and adults of eels are not easily matched, and when first discovered, leptocephali were thought to be a different type of fishes, but not eels. Because of this, the genus designation of Leptocephalus was used for a while for unidentified leptocephali even after it was known that these were the larvae of eels, but this practice is no longer used. Examples of marine congrid larvae are found in the western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
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