Familia Anguillidae


by M.-L. Bauchot

Body elongate, cylindrical anteriorly, somewhat compressed posteriorly; small, elliptical scales embedded in skin. Head rather long, eye small. Anterior nostril tubular, posterior nostril opening slightly before anterior eye margin. Mouth terminal, lower jaw slightly projecting. Teeth minute, set in bands in jaws and in a patch on vomer. Gill openings restricted, lateral and vertical. Dorsal and anal fins confluent with normally developed caudal fin; dorsal fin origin far behind pectoral fins, the latter well developed; pelvic fins absent. Lateral line conspicuous.
Migratory amphibiotic, catadromous. Larvae leptocephali with metamorphosis. Nocturnal, inactive in the mud or under rocks or roots during the day. Active feeding period restricted to warm season. Feeding on fry or small fishes, annelids, nymphs and larvae of insects, molluscs and crustaceans.

Genera 1.

Recent revisions: Ege (1939), Bertin (1942), Tucker (1959), Tesch (1973, 1977), Sinha and Jones (1975).