Hematologic Parameters of Green Moray Eels (Gymnothorax funebris)
IAAAM 1991
Ruth Francis-Floyd; Thomas C. Ardelt; Michael Andrew; Lois Roth; Peggy Reed; Eric Rose

Establishment of normal values is prerequisite for clinical use of hematology and serum chemistry for new fish species (Blaxhall, 1972). The principle advantage of hematology and serum chemistry values for clinical assessment of fish is that sacrifice of individual animals is not required.

The moray eels represent a group of teleosts which are commonly maintained on public display in commercial oceanaria as well as being popular pets in home aquaria. Blood can be collected from the caudal vein (Campbell and Murru, 1990) following anesthesia with methane tricaine sulfonate (Brown, 1988).

Red blood cells of moray eels are large compared to many other teleosts, averaging 15-16 µm in length. Heterophils have predominantly eosinophilic granules and differentiation of granulocyte types is difficult. Monocytes and lymphocytes are morphologically similar to those observed in other teleost species. Thrombocytes are variable in shape but similar to those observed other teleost species. (Campbell and Murru, 1990; Grizzle and Rogers, 1976).

Clinical parameters for standard erythrocyte and leukocyte profiles shown in Table 1. These values were obtained from animals which were clinically normal.

Table 1. Hematologic values from 4 captive green moray eels which were considered clinically normal at the time the samples were taken



1.  Blaxhall, P.C. 1972. The hematological assessment of the health of freshwater fish. J. Fish Biol. 4:593-604.

2.  Brown, L.A. 1988. Anesthesia in Fish. In: Tropical Fish Medicine, M.K. Stoskopf (ED). Vet. Clinics No. Am: Sm. Anim. Pract. 18(2): 317-330.

3.  Campbell, T.W. and F. Murru. 1990 An introduction to fish hematology. Comp Cont. Ed. Pract. Vet. 12:525-532.

4.  Grizzle, J. and W. A. Rogers. 1976. Anatomy and Histology of the Channel Catfish. Auburn University. Auburn Ala. pp. 15-18.

Speaker Information
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Ruth Francis-Floyd, DVM, MS, DACZM
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA

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