Scientific name: Anguilla anguilla
Nature Stars: 80
About: A very long, narrow fish, growing up to 100cm long. Eels look smooth and slimey, lacking the obviousy scales and gills of other fish. Eels can be found in rivers and ditches. They leave the freshwater to breed at sea, in an area of the west Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea. Young eels (known as Elvers) return to rivers. They are predators and scavengers, feeding on dead animals, fish eggs, invertebrates and other fish.
How to identify: The commonest snake-like freshwater fish. A group of bizarre fish called Lampreys look similar, but have large sucker-like mouths and no pectoral fins.
Where: Found throughout the country.
Fantastic fact: Eels are able to survive out of water for quite a long time, able to crawl through wet grass to reach the water.
Photograph credit: Michel Roggo/naturepl