Dead or Alive

Asian Swamp Eel

Monopterus albus also known as "The Slimy Thief"

Identifying Chararcteristics

~Scaleless, long body with a blunt snout.

~Does not have pectoral fins like the American eel it is mistaken for.

~Bristle-like teeth.

~Brown or greenish color, small dark spots appearing on sides.

~Can be up to 100 cm, but also range from 25-40 cm.

~One V-shaped gill near the back of the mouth instead of 7 like the Lamprey.

Last Seen

The Asian Swamp Eel originated from Asia, parts of China, India, and Indonesia.

Suspected Hideouts

The eel was introduced to the United States in the 1990's from aquarium releases, stocking as a food source, and also escaping from fish farms after a flooding event occurrence. The Asian Swamp Eel's distribution in the U.S includes areas in Georgia, Florida, And the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

Crimes Committed

The eel has the potential to disrupt Everglades National Park ecosystem by displacing native aquatic species. They eat many of the same prey as the native species including but not limited to fish, frogs, worms, and insects. They also speed up the process of drying shallow waters due to their burrowing habits when the eels are abundant together.


The elimination of the Asian Swamp Eel from the United States would increase profits in the fishing industry due to more fish being present because of less predators (the eel). Also tourism would increase in national parks including the Everglades National Park from more species that aren't harmful to the ecosystem being present. Native species could rebound in areas where the eel used to be present boosting the ecosystem back to its natural order. Lastly it would be one less invasive species to worry about for conservation efforts to maintain certain ecosystems.

More Information on Asian Swamp Eels

Asian swamp eels in Silver Lake