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Anguilla anguilla European eel


Anguilla anguilla 
Europäischer Aal 
European Eel 
Family tree:
Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Anguilliformes (Order) > Anguillidae (Family) > Anguilla (Genus) > anguilla (Species) 
Initial determination:
(Linnaeus, ), 1758 
Straße von Gibralta, Russland, the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Azores, catadrome fishes, Egypt, European Coasts, Iceland, Israel, Kenya, Madeira, Morocco, North Atlantic Ocean, Northern Africa, Scandinavia, Spain, the British Isles, the Canary Islands, the Faroe Islands, the Isle of Man, the Mediterranean Sea, West Africa, West-Atlantic Ocean 
Sea depth:
0 - 700 Meter 
up to 48.43" (123 cm) 
6,6 kg 
39.2 °F - 68 °F (4°C - 20°C) 
Crustaceans, Fish (little fishes), Invertebrates, Worms 
Not suitable for home aquaria! 
Possible to breed 
Toxic hazard unknown 
Appendix II ((commercial trade possible after a safety assessment by the exporting country)) 
Red List:
Critically endangered (CR) 
Related species at
Catalog of Life:
More related species
in this lexicon:
Last edit:
2019-08-01 18:14:08 

Captive breeding / propagation

The offspring of Anguilla anguilla are possible. Unfortunately, the number of offspring is not large enough to cover the demand of the trade. If you are interested in Anguilla anguilla, please ask your dealer for offspring. If you already own Anguilla anguilla, try breeding yourself. This will help to improve the availability of offspring in the trade and to conserve natural stocks.


(Linnaeus, 1758)
Special thanks for the foto to Christian Coudre, France.

IUCN: Critically Endangered A2bd+4bd ver 3.1!!!

Atlantic Ocean: Atlantic coast from Scandinavia to Morocco; Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas; rivers of North Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean seas.
Continuous introductions to Asia and South and Central America. Spawning area in western Atlantic (Sargasso Sea).
At least one country reports adverse ecological impact after introduction. Recent genomic DNA studies show that the European eel exhibits isolation by distance, implying that non-random mating and restricted gene flow among eels from different location exists.
The existence of 3 genetically distinct sub-populations is suggested: a Northern European subpopulation (consisting mainly of the Icelandic stocks); a Western European subpopulation (including the Baltic, the Mediterranean and Black Sea); a Southern sub-population (including stocks of Morocco)

Inhabits all types of benthic habitats from streams to shores of large rivers and lakes. Naturally found only in water bodies connected to the sea.
Territorial and solitary species; 'schools' of young eels which are observed from time to time are a mass response to outward conditions and not of active assembling.
Migrates to the depths of the Sargasso Sea to spawn.
Eel larvae (leptocephali) are transparent ribbon-like. They are brought to the coasts of Europe by the Gulf Stream in 7 to 11 months time and can last for up to 3 years. They are transformed into glass eels (6-8 cm length, cylindrical in shape and transparent to slightly pigmented in colour). They enter the estuaries and colonize rivers and lakes; some individuals remain in estuaries and coastal waters to grow into adults.
The glass eel stage is followed by a long feeding period (from the yellow to the silver eel stage) lasting 6-12 years in males and 9-20 years in females.
Yellow and silver eels are benthic, found under stones, buried in the mud or in crevices.
Yellow eels eventually lose their pigmentation, becoming dark dorsally and silver ventrally (called silver eels).
Silver eels are also characterized by a clear contrasting black lateral line and enlarged eyes.
At the end of their growth period, they become sexually mature, migrate to the sea and cover great distances during their spawning migration (5,000-6,000 km);
with extensive daily vertical migrations between 200 m at night and 600 m during day time, possibly for predator avoidance.
Gametogenesis occurs entirely during spawning migration.
Average life span is usually 15-20 years. Male eels can grow up to 50 cm TL. O
ccurs at temperatures ranging from 0-30°C.
Its food includes virtually the whole aquatic fauna (freshwater as well as marine) occurring in the eel's area, augmented with animals living out of water, e.g. worms. Best temperature for making eels sexually mature is 20-25°C.
Sensitive to weak magnetic fields.
Their high fat content and benthic feeding habits in continental waters make them vulnerable to the bioaccumulation of pollutants, such as heavy metals and organic contaminants, that may result in organ damage and impaired migration capability and lowered genetic variability.
Review of information supports the view that the European eel population as a whole has declined in most areas, the stock is outside safe biological limits and current fisheries not sustainable.
Obvious decreasing of the stocks for all the continental native distribution area.

Synonymised taxa:
Angill angill (Linnaeus, 1758) (misspelling)
Anguilla acutirostris Risso, 1827
Anguilla aegyptiaca Kaup, 1856
Anguilla altirostris Kaup, 1856
Anguilla ancidda Kaup, 1856
Anguilla anguilla oxycephala De la Pylaie, 1835
Anguilla anguilla var. macrocephala De la Pylaie, 1835 (synonym)
Anguilla anguilla var. ornithorhyncha De la Pylaie, 1835 (misspelling)
Anguilla anguillai (Linnaeus, 1758)
Anguilla anguillia (Linnaeus, 1758) (misspelling)
Anguilla bibroni Kaup, 1856
Anguilla brevirostris Cisternas, 1877 (synonym)
Anguilla callensis Guichenot, 1850
Anguilla canariensis Valenciennes, 1843
Anguilla capitone Kaup, 1856
Anguilla cloacina Bonaparte, 1846
Anguilla cuvieri Kaup, 1856
Anguilla eurystoma Heckel & Kner, 1858
Anguilla fluviatilis Heckel & Kner, 1858
Anguilla fluviatilis Anslijin, 1828
Anguilla hibernica Couch, 1865
Anguilla kieneri Kaup, 1856
Anguilla latirostris Risso, 1827
Anguilla linnei Malm, 1877
Anguilla marginata Kaup, 1856
Anguilla marina Nardo, 1860
Anguilla mediorostris Risso, 1827
Anguilla melanochir Kaup, 1856
Anguilla microptera Kaup, 1856
Anguilla migratoria Krøyer, 1846
Anguilla morena Kaup, 1856
Anguilla nilotica Heckel, 1846
Anguilla nilotica Kaup, 1857
Anguilla oblongirostris Blanchard, 1866
Anguilla platycephala Kaup, 1856
Anguilla platyrhynchus Costa, 1850
Anguilla savignyi Kaup, 1856
Anguilla septembrina Bonaparte, 1846
Anguilla vulgaris Shaw, 1803
Anguilla vulgaris fluviatilis Rafinesque, 1810
Anguilla vulgaris lacustus Rafinesque, 1810
Anguilla vulgaris marina Rafinesque, 1810
Anguilla vulgaris ornithorhincha De la Pylaie, 1835
Anguilla vulgaris platyura De la Pylaie, 1835
Leptocephalus brevirostris Kaup, 1856
Muraena anguilla Linnaeus, 1758 (synonym)
Muraena anguilla maculata Chiereghini, 1872
Muraena oxyrhina Ekström, 1831
Muraena platyrhina Ekström, 1831

Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Anguilliformes (Order) > Anguillidae (Family) > Anguilla (Genus)




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