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).
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Puerto Rico &
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.
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: 3/5/2011
Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2018, 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: 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.