Anguilla sp.
Anguilla sp.
(unidentified eel)
Translate this page with Google
Français Deutsch Español Português Russian Italiano Japanese

Copyright Info
Anguilla sp. Schrank, 1798

Common name: unidentified eel

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

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).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Hawaii auto-generated map
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Williamson and Tabeta (1991) listed an eel taken from the San Joaquin River, California, in 1964 as Anguilla sp. Moyle (2002) says several eels have been taken in the state but are undoubtedly escaped individuals from aquaculture facilities and are not breeding. Several unidentified eels have been caught from Lake Mead, Clark County, Nevada (Minckley 1973; Deacon and Williams 1984). In their review of West Coast anguillid records, Williamson and Tabeta (1991) listed three unidentified Anguilla specimens taken from the Portland, Oregon area, during the period, 1981 to 1983. These records included two specimens from the Willamette River and one from the Lake River in the Willamette River drainage.

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: Unknown.

Remarks: There is some confusion concerning the correct identity of the eel taken from the San Joaquin River, California. The voucher specimen (SIO 64-219) is a skin only; it was reported as A. rostrata by Skinner (1971) and as being either A. rostrata or A. anguilla by McCosker (1989) (see species account for A. rostrata). One of the three Oregon specimens was reported as being kept alive in an aquarium (as of 1990); the other two specimens were not preserved (Williamson and Tabeta 1991).

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.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller

Revision Date: 3/5/2011

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2018, Anguilla sp. Schrank, 1798: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 3/5/2011, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/22/2018

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.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logoU.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Pam Fuller - NAS Program (
Page Last Modified: Thursday, December 21, 2017


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/22/2018].

Additional information for authors