Common name: unidentified eel
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Genus is currently recognized as containing 15 species. McCosker (1989) provides a key to the five Anguilla species most likely to have been imported.
Size: To over 200 cm.
Native Range: Marine, estuarine, and fresh water. Most temperate and tropical regions of the world (Berra 1981; Nelson 1994).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Anguilla sp. are found here.
Table last updated 12/3/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: These eels were probably imported by Japanese or Chinese restaurants, or by fish farms, and the eels either escaped or were released (Williamson and Tabeta 1991; Moyle 2002).
Status: Reported from, but failed in, California, Nevada, and Oregon.
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Berra, T. M. 1981. An atlas of distribution of the freshwater fish families of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE.
Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.
McCosker, J. E. 1989. Freshwater eels (family Anguillidae) in California: current conditions and future scenarios. California Fish and Game 75(1):4-10.
Minckley, W. L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Fish and Game Department. Sims Printing Company, Inc., Phoenix, AZ.
Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland Fishes of California. Second Edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 502 pp.
Nelson, J. S. 1994. Fishes of the world, 3rd edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.
Skinner, J. E. 1971. Anguilla recorded from California. California Fish and Game 57(1):76-79.
Williamson, G. R., and O. Tabeta. 1991. Search for Anguilla eels on the West Coast of North America and on the Aleutian and Hawaiian Islands. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 38(3):315-317.
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller
Revision Date: 5/9/2019
Peer Review Date: 3/5/2011
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2023, Anguilla sp. Schrank, 1798: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=311, Revision Date: 5/9/2019, Peer Review Date: 3/5/2011, Access Date: 12/4/2023
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.