Ecology of Anguilla anguilla
Main Ref. Deelder, C.L., 1984
Remarks Observed transients in the intertidal zone (Ref.49162). Observations have shown that scent and taste appear to be more important than sight for foraging purposes (Ref. 172). Smaller individuals feed mainly on insect larvae, molluscs, worms, and crustaceans; subadults on benthic invertebrates and fish (Ref. 51442); larger individuals on other fishes. This species can also be a scavenger, feeding on carcasses. Yellow and silver eels are nocturnal and opportunistically feeding on virtually all small animals they encounter. Cannibalism occurs amongst yellow eels (Ref. 172). Feeding ceases when silver eels start their spawning migration and rely on their lipid reserves for energy. Leptocephali feed on gelatinous zooplankton (e.g. Hydrozoa, Thaliacea and Ctenophora) (Ref. 89143). Based on next-generation 18S rRNA gene sequencing, Hydrozoa (mostly siphonophores), dominates the leptocephali larvae diet (at least 75%), while copepods and euphausiids are less abundant (7%) (Ref. 117894).

Aquatic zones / Water bodies

Marine - Neritic Marine - Oceanic Brackishwater Freshwater
Marine zones / Brackish and freshwater bodies
  • supra-littoral zone
  • littoral zone
  • sublittoral zone
  • epipelagic
  • mesopelagic
  • epipelagic
  • abyssopelagic
  • hadopelagic
  • estuaries/lagoons/brackish seas
  • mangroves
  • marshes/swamps
  • rivers/streams
  • lakes/ponds
  • caves
  • exclusively in caves
Highighted items on the list are where Anguilla anguilla may be found.


Substrate Ref.
Special habitats
Special habitats Ref.


Associated with
Association remarks


Feeding type mainly animals (troph. 2.8 and up)
Feeding type Ref. Costa, J.L., C.A. Assis, P.R. Almeida, F.M. Moreira and M.J. Costa, 1992
Feeding habit hunting macrofauna (predator)
Feeding habit Ref. Costa, J.L., C.A. Assis, P.R. Almeida, F.M. Moreira and M.J. Costa, 1992
Trophic Level(s)
Estimation method Original sample Unfished population Remark
Troph s.e. Troph s.e.
From diet composition 3.55 0.30 3.55 0.59 Troph of juv./adults from 1 study.
From individual food items 3.67 0.74 Trophic level estimated from a number of food items using a randomized resampling routine.
Ref. Costa, J.L., C.A. Assis, P.R. Almeida, F.M. Moreira and M.J. Costa, 1992
(e.g. 346)
(e.g. cnidaria)
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