Anguilla rostrata

Super Group: 
Lesueur 1817
Muraena rostrata (Lesueur 1817)
Anguilla chrysypa (Evermann 1899)
Anguilla rostrata (Hay 1883, Cook 1959, Ross 2001)


Diagnosis_Genus: Anguilla Shrank. Flößen : des Rückens , Afters , und Schwanzes in eine ftatige zufammen gewachfen. Brußl mit Fiofsen.
Diagnosis_species: Muraena rostrata Lesueur. Snout elongated, pointed and strait; eyes large, and situated very near the angle of the mouth; body tumid in the centre, and narrowed to a point at both extremities; upper parts varied with gray and olive, sometimes of a slate blue, lower parts white; dorsal and anal fins reddish, which colour deepens as it approaches the tail; pectoral fins small, acute and bluish. Length from eighteen to twenty-four inches. Inhabits the lakes Cayuga and Geneva, in the state of Newyork; is esteemed for the table.

Body_adults_length: 50 cm
Body_adults_length_max: 152 cm (Page & Burr, 1991)
Body_egg_length: 960 to 1030 mm (at the time of ovulation) (Oliveira & Hable 2010)
Body_larvae_length_at_hatching: 2.7 mm (Oliveira & Hable 2010)
Weight_adults: 4 kg
Sequence: AP007249 (Minegishi et al. 2005)


Anguilla, Latin for eel; rostrata, Latin for “beaked or curved”, presumably a characteristic of which only Lesueur was aware (Scharpf 2005).

Type species

The type species for the genus Anguilla is Muraena anguilla (Linnæus, 1758).

Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type locality: Cayuga and Geneva lakes, New York, U.S.A.


Habitat: Estuarine
Habitat: U.S. distribution: Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf drainages of North America, Central America, and South America. Texas distribution: Originally found in large rivers from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Extirpated in several drainages, attributed to reservoirs that impede upstream migration (Hubbs et al. 1991). Warren et al. (2000) listed the following drainage units for distribution of american eel in the state: Red River (from the mouth upstream to and including the Kiamichi River), Sabine Lake (including minor coastal drainages west to Galveston Bay), Galveston Bay (including minor coastal drainages west to mouth of Brazos River), Brazos River, Colorado River, San Antonio Bay (including minor coastal drainages west of mouth of Colorado River to mouth of Nueces River), Nueces River. Hubbs (2002) reported that dams have precluded young eels from repopulating Caddo Lake in northeast Texas.
Substrate: water
Salinity_adults: marine
Salinity_juveniles: freshwater
Migratory: yes. Diadromous migration. Catadromous.
Causality_of_migration: sexual reproduction (spawning migration to the Sargasso Sea)
Temporality_of_migation: Seasonal (late winter months to the early summer months)
Depth: Mesopelagic (0 - 464 m)
Oxygen_level: Oxic
Temperature: 4°C - 25°C, 7°C (preferred)
pH: Neutral (7.8 - 8.3)

Life cycle

Longevity_in_captivity: 50 years
Longevity_wild: more than 15 years
Generation_time_female: more than 3 years (4.5  years)
Reproduction_mode: sexual
Fecundity_number_of_eggs_per_adults: 4,000,000 per year (The female can lay up to 4 million buoyant eggs a year, and dies after egg-laying)
Fertility_period: Seasonal (late winter months to the early summer months)
Spawning_method: External fertilization in the water column
Sexual_dimorphism: Female larger

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


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Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Amyloodinium ocellatum Gulf Coast Research Laboratory