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Family: ANGUILLIDAE, Freshwater Eels


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D origin well behind pectoral
lower jaw projecting; lips thick; teeth minute, in bands
large pectorals
adult - small, imbedded scales
LL complete, small pores

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FAMILY ANGUILLIDAE

FRESHWATER EELS

Aguillids are moderately large eels (to 1.5 m) with a robust body, compressed at rear; mouth reaching to under rear edge of eye, lower jaw projecting; lips thick; teeth minute, in bands on jaws and front of roof of mouth; with large pectoral fins; dorsal fin origin well behind large pectoral fin; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail fin; lateral line complete but pores very small; small imbedded scales arranged in basket-weave pattern present in adults but not juveniles.

Adults live in fresh to brackish water, migrate long distances to spawning grounds in deep gyres in the open ocean; larvae marine.

With one genus with about 19 species; worldwide in most tropical to temperate waters. One genus with one northwest Atlantic species occurs in the Greater Caribbean.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER SMITH (2002)