Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Anguilliformes > Anguillidae > Anguilla > Anguilla rostrata

Anguilla rostrata (American eel; Silver eel; Freshwater eel; Elver (joven); Eel; Common eel)

Synonyms: Anguilla aterrima; Anguilla blephura; Anguilla bostoniensis; Anguilla chrisypa; Anguilla cubana; Anguilla laticanda; Anguilla laticauda; Anguilla lutea; Anguilla macrops; Anguilla novaeorleanensis; Anguilla novaeterrae; Anguilla punctatissima; Anguilla tenuirostris; Anguilla texana; Anguilla tyrannus; Anguilla wabashensis; Anguilla xanthomelas; Leptocephalus grassii; Muraena argentea; Muraena bostoniensis; Muraena macrocephala; Muraena rostrata; Muraena serpentina
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Wikipedia Abstract

The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a facultative catadromous fish found on the eastern coast of North America. Eels (Anguilla spp.) are fish belonging to the elopomorph superorder, a group of phylogenetically ancient teleosts. The American eel has a slender snakelike body that is covered with a mucous layer, which makes the eel appear to be naked and slimy despite the presence of minute scales. A long dorsal fin runs from the middle of the back and is continuous with a similar ventral fin. Pelvic fins are absent, and relatively small pectoral fin can be found near the midline, followed by the head and gill-covers. Variations exist in coloration, from olive green, brown shading to greenish-yellow and light gray or white on the belly. Eels from clear water are often lighter than those f
View Wikipedia Record: Anguilla rostrata

Endangered Species

Status: Endangered
View IUCN Record: Anguilla rostrata


Adult Weight [2]  8.89 lbs (4.03 kg)
Female Maturity [3]  4 years 6 months
Male Maturity [2]  4 years 6 months
Maximum Longevity [3]  50 years
Migration [1]  Catadromous
Speed [4]  2.42 MPH (1.083 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams, Coastal


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Chesapeake Bay United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Laurentian Great Lakes Canada, United States Nearctic Large Lakes    
Northeast US & Southeast Canada Atlantic Drainages Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Sacramento - San Joaquin United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Acadia National Park II 35996 Maine, United States
Algonquin Provincial Park IV 1868802 Ontario, Canada
Barro Colorado Island Natural Monument III   Panama  
Big Thicket Biosphere Reserve National Park II 616880 Texas, United States
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge VI 16363 Delaware, United States
Buffalo National River National River and Wild and Scenic Riverway V 59947 Arkansas, United States
Canaveral National Seashore II 9090 Florida, United States
Cape Breton Highlands National Park II 234333 Nova Scotia, Canada  
Cape Cod National Seashore II 21724 Massachusetts, United States
Carolinian-South Atlantic Biosphere Reserve 310228 North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, United States      
Catoctin Mountain Park National Park II 5994 Maryland, United States
Central Gulf Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 40530 United States  
Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve 9859505 New York, Vermont, United States  
Colonial National Historic Park National Historical Park V 9316 Virginia, United States
Congaree Swamp National Park II 6095 South Carolina, United States
Cumberland Island National Seashore II 20629 Georgia, United States
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary IV 2387149 Florida, United States
Forillon National Park II 61010 Quebec, Canada  
Fundy National Park II 52716 New Brunswick, Canada
Gateway National Recreation Area V 1807 New Jersey, United States
Gauley River National Recreation Area V 10157 West Virginia, United States
George Washington Memorial Parkway V   Virginia, United States
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge VI 3161 New Jersey, United States
Gros Morne National Park II 476632 Newfoundland, Canada
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park VI 715 West Virginia, United States
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site III 861 Pennsylvania, United States
Jean Lafitte National Hist. Park & Preserve National Historical Park II 17686 Louisiana, United States
Kejimkujik National Park II 94203 Nova Scotia, Canada
Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct National Park II 4970 Nova Scotia, Canada
Kouchibouguac National Park II 59161 New Brunswick, Canada
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge VI 28351 Louisiana, United States
Land Between the Lakes Biosphere Reserve V 166264 Kentucky, Tennessee, United States
Mammoth Cave Area Biosphere Reserve (Natn'l Park) National Park II 51235 Kentucky, United States
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve II 20461 Quebec, Canada
National Capital Region - East National Park   District of Columbia, United States
New Jersey Pinelands Biosphere Reserve   New Jersey, United States  
Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve 470167 Ontario, Canada  
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge IV 38256 Florida, United States
Prince Edward Island National Park II   Prince Edward Island, Canada  
Prince William Forest Park 19378 District of Columbia, United States
Reserva de la Biosfera de Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve VI 1312618 Mexico  
Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve   Honduras      
Rock Creek Park   District of Columbia, United States
Roosevelt Vanderbilt National Historic Site   New York, United States      
Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park National Marine Conservation Area II 310822 Canada
Saint Croix International Historic Site   Maine, United States
Saint Lawrence Islands National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Seaflower Marine Protected Area 15125514 Colombia      
Shenandoah National Park II 108221 Virginia, United States
South Atlantic Coastal Plain Biosphere Reserve 20317 South Carolina, United States  
Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve 3821173 Canada  
Terra Nova National Park IV 125894 Newfoundland, Canada
Upper Miss. River Nat'l Wildlife Refuge National Wildlife Refuge VI 25823 Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, United States
Valley Forge National Historical Park VI 3509 Pennsylvania, United States


Prey / Diet

Aedes albopictus (forest day mosquito)[5]
Alpheus heterochaelis (bigclaw snapping shrimp)[6]
Ameiurus natalis (Yellow bullhead)[5]
Anax junius (green darner)[5]
Calopteryx maculata (Ebony jewelwing)[5]
Corydalus cornutus (dobsonfly)[5]
Cyprinus carpio (Common carp)[5]
Etheostoma nigrum (Johnny darter)[6]
Fundulus heteroclitus (mummichog)[7]
Ictalurus punctatus (Channel catfish)[5]
Lampsilis radiata (eastern lampmussel)[5]
Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalus (Florida Leopard Frog)[5]
Lophogobius cyprinoides (Crested goby)[6]
Lymnaea stagnalis (swamp lymnaea)[5]
Micropterus salmoides (Northern largemouth bass)[5]
Notemigonus crysoleucas (Golden shiner minnow)[5]
Percopsis omiscomaycus (Trout-perch)[6]
Rhithropanopeus harrisii (estuarine mud crab)[6]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird)4
Agkistrodon piscivorus (conanti)1
Aix sponsa (Wood Duck)3
Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander)3
Ameiurus natalis (Yellow bullhead)5
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)5
Anaxyrus americanus americanus (Eastern American Toad)2
Archilochus colubris (Ruby-throated Hummingbird)1
Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)4
Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk)1
Cathartes aura (Turkey Vulture)1
Charadrius vociferus (Killdeer)4
Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle)4
Cyanocitta cristata (Blue Jay)1
Cyprinus carpio (Common carp)6
Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum)2
Egretta caerulea (Little Blue Heron)1
Egretta tricolor (Tricolored Heron)1
Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat)3
Etheostoma olmstedi (Tessellated darter)3
Gambusia holbrooki (Bore-drain fish)3
Geothlypis trichas (Common Yellowthroat)2
Heterodon platirhinos (Eastern Hognose Snake)1
Hypentelium nigricans (Northern hog sucker)6
Ictalurus punctatus (Channel catfish)6
Larus delawarensis (Ring-billed Gull)5
Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog)3
Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalus (Florida Leopard Frog)2
Megaceryle alcyon (Belted Kingfisher)4
Mephitis mephitis (Striped Skunk)1
Micropterus salmoides (Northern largemouth bass)5
Mycteroperca microlepis (Velvet rockfish)1
Nerodia sipedon (Northern Water Snake)3
Notemigonus crysoleucas (Golden shiner minnow)4
Notophthalmus viridescens (Eastern Newt)5
Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat)2
Paralichthys dentatus (fluke)1
Phalacrocorax auritus (Double-crested Cormorant)7
Pomatomus saltatrix (Tailor run)1
Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Strawberry bass)3
Procyon lotor (Raccoon)4
Pseudacris crucifer (Spring Peeper)1
Semotilus atromaculatus (Horned dace)4
Strix varia (Barred Owl)3
Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Garter Snake)1
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)1


Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)[5]
Carcharhinus plumbeus (Thickskin shark)[6]
Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle)[6]
Ictalurus punctatus (Channel catfish)[5]
Isurus oxyrinchus (Short-finned mako)[6]
Larus delawarensis (Ring-billed Gull)[5]
Lutjanus griseus (Snapper)[6]
Micropterus salmoides (Northern largemouth bass)[5]
Morone saxatilis (Striper bass)[6]
Morus bassanus (Northern Gannet)[6]
Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)[6]
Phalacrocorax auritus (Double-crested Cormorant)[5]
Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Strawberry bass)[5]


Carex stricta (upright sedge)[5]
Hydrilla verticillata (waterthyme)[5]
Lemna minor (common duckweed)[5]
Peltandra virginica (green arrow arum)[5]
Phragmites australis (common reed)[5]
Platanus mexicana (American sycamore)[5]
Pontederia cordata (Pickerel Weed)[5]
Potamogeton lucens (long-leaf pondweed)[5]
Salix nigra (black willow)[5]
Scirpus cyperinus (Woolly Grass Bulrush)[5]
Typha latifolia (Reedmace)[5]
Utricularia macrorhiza (greater bladderwort)[5]


Parasitized by 
Acanthocephalus dirus[8]
Alloglossidium kenti <Unverified Name>[8]
Anguillicola crassus <Unverified Name>[8]
Azygia longa[8]
Bothriocephalus claviceps[8]
Bothriocephalus scorpii[6]
Centrovarium lobotes[8]
Crepidostomum brevivitellum <Unverified Name>[8]
Crepidostomum illinoiense <Unverified Name>[8]
Daniconema anguillae <Unverified Name>[8]
Derogenes varicus[8]
Deropristis hispida[6]
Deropristis inflata[8]
Diphyllobothrium plerocercoid <Unverified Name>[8]
Diplostomum flexicaudum[8]
Diplostomum spathaceum[8]
Echinorhynchus lateralis[8]
Echinorhynchus salmonis[8]
Fessisentis vancleavei[6]
Grillotia erinaceus[8]
Gyrodactylus anguillae[6]
Hemiurus appendiculatus[6]
Hysterothylacium cenotae <Unverified Name>[8]
Lacistorhynchus tenuis[6]
Leptorhynchoides thecatus[8]
Neoechinorhynchus agilis[6]
Neoechinorhynchus cylindratus[8]
Neoechinorhynchus rostratus[8]
Paraquimperia tenerrima <Unverified Name>[8]
Paratenuisentis ambiguus[8]
Podocotyle atomon[8]
Pomphorhynchus bulbocolli[8]
Pomphorhynchus lucyi[8]
Proteocephalus macrocephalus[8]
Pseudodactylogyrus anguillae[8]
Pseudodactylogyrus bini[8]
Stephanostomum tenue[8]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Aquarium du Quebec
BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo
Buttonwood Park Zoo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center
Houston Zoo, Inc.
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Memphis Zoological Garden & Aquarium
Nat'l Mississippi River Museum & Aquar
National Aquarium in Baltimore Inc
Newark Museum Association

Range Map

America, North - Inland waters; America, South - Inland waters; Aruba; Atlantic Ocean; Atlantic, Northwest; Atlantic, Southwest; Atlantic, Western Central; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Canada; Caribbean Sea; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao Island; Dominica; Dominican Republic; East Brazil Shelf; Greenland; Guatemala; Gulf of Mexico; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Lake Waccamaw; Martinique; Mexico; Mississippi; Missouri; Nearctic; Neotropical; Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf; Nicaragua; North Brazil Shelf; Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf; Northwest to western Central Atlantic: Greenland south along the Atlantic coast of Canada and the USA to Panama, and throughout much of the West Indies south to Trinidad.; Oceania - Inland waters; Panama; Penobscot Bay; Puerto Rico; Rio Grande; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Scotian Shelf; South Brazil Shelf; Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf; Tennessee; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Is.; US Virgin Islands; USA (contiguous states); Venezuela; West Greenland Shelf;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495.
4Wikipedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
5Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7VII. FOOD HABITS OF THE MUMMICHOG (Fundulus heteroclitus), Frank W. Steimle, Jr., NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-167, 2001 p. 101-109
8Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access