Wolf Eel

Anarrhichthys ocellatus

A Eel that is not an Eel!

Wolf eels are not related to eels. Instead, they part of a family known as the wolffishes (Anarhichadidae). They belong to an even larger group of fish known as Perciform fishes, generally thought of as the perch-like fish. Their long-bodied, eel-like appearance is unique in this group of fishes.

Wolf Eels on Video!

This short, natural-history video on wolf eels was sent to us by our favorite Pacific Northwestern Filmmaker, Twyla Roscovich. For more about what she is doing in that area visit CallingfromtheCoast.com.

Quick Facts

Wolf Eels are in found shallow water to a depth of 226 meters. Females don’t reach sexual maturity until they are seven years old. An adult wolf eel may produce up to 10,000 eggs which are laid on rocks. Predators for those eggs are rockfish and kelp greenling. Wolf eels are considered “good to eat” but many places forbid taking these creatures

Where is the Wolf Eel Found?

Wolf eels are found in the North Pacific along the coast of North America from southern Alaska to California. wolfeeldistribution

What do Wolf Eels eat?

The diet of a wolf eel varies throughout its life. Young will feed on plankton while adults eat crabs, clams, sea urchins, mussels, sand dollars, and snails.

Other good links about Wolf Eels

Wolf Eel at the Monterey Bay AquariumLive broadcast from underwater showing a wolf eelGreat Video about Wolf Eel Juvenile’s on PBS

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Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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