European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla)

Latin name: Anguilla anguilla
Common name: European eel
In other languages: E: Anguila europea, F: Anguille d'Europe, D: Europäischer Aal
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Anguillidae
Genus: Anguilla

Distribution & reproduction: A coastal and fresh water species that starts life in the Sargasso Sea. Three years after spawning the eel larva reach the European and Mediterranean shoreline, entering estuaries with many migrating far up rivers where they stay for ten to 15 years after which they descend back down to the sea and repeat their final migration back to their home spawning grounds. Many however do stay in coastal waters prior to their final migration. They can be found in waters close to Venice in the Adriatic Sea where it is quite common, as it is in the Bay of Tobruk in Libya in the eastern Mediterranean. The Bay of Cadiz still supports some, as does the Bay of Gibraltar within its declining sea grass meadows.

Habitat: Found in sea grass meadows and lagoons of posidonia and zostera.

Diet: Invertebrates, fish.

Size: Common: 20 - 80cm, maximum: 150cm

Links: Environmental Impact Assessment (The anguilla anguilla was found on a development site).

Protected under EU law