The morphology of Eleotris acanthopoma collected from Moorea in French Polynesia is described. This is the first record of this species from French Polynesia, greatly expanding the known range, which was previously only considered to extend from southern Japan to New Caledonia. Nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial ND5 gene of several Eleotris species and related genera indicate that E. acanthopoma from Moorea belongs to the same lineage as E. acanthopoma from Japan and the Philippines. Despite being separated by a distance of approximately 10,000 km, two of the specimens from Moorea and one from the Philippines had identical nucleotide sequences. Results of this study indicate that extensive dispersal occurs during the pelagic larval stage of this species.
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Vol. 65 • No. 2