Monopterus digressus

Gopi 2002



Species account reviwed by Ralph Britz






Holotype: ZSI-WGFRS 10684 218mm TL. Paratypes: ZSI-WGFRS Seven specimens 150-242mm TL, no identification numbers.


Known only from the type locality: Well at Kuthiravattom, a suburb of Calicut, Kerala, India, elevation 40 meters. 11.2543oN, 75.8009oE.


The true habitat is not known but is probably small conduits within a laterite aquifer.



Britz et al. (2016) state that external similarity to West African Monopterus species suggests that M. digressus might be a member of the ‘Amphipnous group’ within Monopterus.

Conservation Status


(Raghavan, R. and Ali, A. 2011. Monopterus digressus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: Downloaded on 06 July 2017).

Museum Holdings

As above only.

Internet Resources

Two films of Monopterus digressus searching for food are available.

Key References

Rosen, D. E. and Greenwood, P. H. Journal Article 1976 A fourth neotropical species of synbranchid eel and the phylogeny and systematics of synbranchiform fishes
Bailey, R. M. and Gans, C. Journal Article 1998 Two new synbranchid fishes, Monopterus roseni from penisular India and M. desilvai from Sri Lanka
Gopi, KC Journal Article 2002 A new synbranchid fish, Monopterus digressus from Kerala, peninsular India
Kurup B.M. Radhakrishnan K.V. and Manojkumar T.G. Conference Paper 2004 Biodiversity status of fishes inhabiting rivers of Kerala (S. India) with special reference to endemism, threats and conservation measures
Dahanukar, N, Raut, R and Bhat, A Journal Article 2004 Distribution, endemism and threat status of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats of India
Ollier, CD and Sheth, HC Journal Article 2008 The High Deccan duricrusts of India and their significance for the ‘laterite’ issue
Pati, AK and Parganiha, A Book Section 2010 Subterranean fishes of India
Vincent, M and Thomas, J Journal Article 2011 Observations on the foraging behaviour of a subterranean fish Monopterus digressus (Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae)
Dahanukar, N, Raghavan, R, Ali, A, Abraham, R and Shaji, CP Book Section 2011 Chapter 3. The status and distribution of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats
Vincent, M. and Thomas, K.J. Book Section 2012 A preliminary survey on the subterranean piscine diversity in Thrissur District, Kerala, India
Vincent, M Journal Article 2012 Occurence, distribution and troglomorphisms of subterranean fishes of penninsular India
Britz, R., Kakkassery, F. and Raghavan, R. Journal Article 2014 Osteology of Kryptoglanis shajii, a stygobitic catfish (Teleostei: Siluriformes) from Peninsular India with a diagnosis of the new family Kryptoglanidae
Raghavan, R., Das, K, Nameer, PO, Bijukumar, A and Dahanukar, N Journal Article 2016 Protected area and imperriled endemic freshwater biodiversity in the Westren Ghats hotspot
Britz, R., Doherty-Bone, T.M., Kouete, M.T., Sykes, D. and Gower, D.J. Journal Article 2016 Monopterus luticolus, a new species of swamp eel from Cameroon (Teleostei: Synbranchidae)
De Grave, S., Arjun, C.P. and Raghavan, R. Journal Article 2018 The discovery of Euryrhynchidae (Crustacea: Decapoda) in India, with the description of a new genus and species