European eels have completely different diets during different life stages. No food contents have ever been discovered in the guts of leptocephali, therefore their diet is unknown (Fisheries Global Information System, 2005). Glass eels consume insect larvae, dead fish, and small crustaceans (Sinha and Jones, 1975). Adult eels have a fairly broad diet and eat freshwater, marine, or terrestrial fauna. Their primary food source is aquatic invertebrates, but they will eat essentially any food they can find-- even dead organisms (Sinha and Jones, 1975). European eels are reported to leap out of the water during the winter and feed on terrestrial invertebrates (Deedler, 1970).
Animal Foods: fish; eggs; carrion ; insects; mollusks; terrestrial worms; aquatic or marine worms; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton
Other Foods: detritus
Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore , Eats non-insect arthropods, Molluscivore , Eats other marine invertebrates, Scavenger )
- 2001. "Fisheries Global Information System" (On-line). Accessed December 01, 2005 at http://www.fao.org/figis/servlet/species?fid=2203.
- Sinha, V., J. Jones. 1975. The European Freshwater Eel. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.