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 opportunistic 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).
- Deelder, C.L. 1984 Synopsis of biological data on the eel, Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758). FAO Fish. Synop. (80, Rev. 1):73 p. (Ref. 172) http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=172&speccode=35