The Latin meaning for Anguilla rostrata is "eel", "beaked", respectively. The common name for the Anguilla rostrata is the American eel.


Domain: Eucarya

     Kingdom: Animalia

          Phylum: Chordata

               Class: Actinopterygii

                    Order: Anguilliformes

                         Family: Anguillidae

                              Genus: Anguilla

                                   Species: rostrata


The American eel was classified at each of these taxonomic levels by the following criteria:


Eucarya: Eukaryotes have a nucleus and membrane bound organelles(1).

Animalia: Animals are multicellular, heterotrophic organisms that do not have a cell wall(1).

Chordata: Chordates have a postanal tail, a notochord, and bone and cartilage can be found in the vertebrates(1).

Actinopterygii: Ray-finned fishes have an ossified skeleton and a swim bladder. They have one gill opening, a paired set of fins, and a muscular body(1).

Anguilliformes: Anguilliformes include the eels and morays(2).

Anguillidae: Anguillidae are the family of catadromous eels with embedded scales and prominent pectoral, dorsal, caudal, and anal fins(2).

Anguilla: The Anguilla are a genus of eels that live in freshwater and return to the ocean to reproduce(2).

rostrata: As previously mentioned, the Latin meaning of rostrata is "beaked", pertaining to the American eel's elongated nose(2).


(1) Hickman, C., L. Roberts, S. Keen, A. Larson, and D. Eisenhour. 2011. Animal Diversity, Sixth Edition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc,. New York, New York, USA.

(2) Fish Base 2013. <URL:>. Accessed 5 April 2013.


Next, we will learn about the habitat of the American eel.