(redirected from Unagi)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


common name for any fish in the order Anguilliformes, and characterized by a long snakelike body covered with minute scales embedded in the skin. Eels lack the hind pair of fins, adapting them for wriggling in the mud and through the crevices of reefs and rocky shores. Most species are marine; the largest and most diverse group is the family Ophichthidae, the snake eels. Other large families are the conger eels, family Congridae, and the moray eels, family Muraenidae. Sharp-toothed and vicious, moray eels have a highly developed second set of jaws (pharyngeal jaws) that hold and pull prey into the throat after the main jaws snare it. The only freshwater eels are those of the family Anguillidae. The freshwater European eel, Anguilla anguilla, is found in the Atlantic coastal regions of Europe and the Mediterranean area; A. rostrata, the American eel, in North America E of the Rockies. Several other freshwater species are native to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.

The mature European eel migrates 3,000 to 4,000 mi (4,828–6,437 km) to its spawning ground in the deep sea SW of Bermuda, a journey lasting several months; they use ocean currents to help them swim there, where they reproduce and then die. The young hatch as transparent ribbonlike larvae (called glass eels) that drift north and east on ocean currents for three years before entering a river; they then develop into elvers, tiny versions of the adult eel. The American eel follows the same pattern, except that the young require only one year to reach freshwater.

Once in freshwater, the developing elvers feed voraciously on dead and living animals, even traveling over short stretches of land in search of frogs and lizards. They hunt at night and rest by day. The male, which attains a length of 2 ft (61 cm), remains at the river's mouth, while the female (4 ft/122 cm) swims upstream, staying there from 5 to 20 years. When the eels are sexually mature their enormous appetite wanes, and they do not eat during migration to the spawning ground. Their oily flesh is regarded by some as a delicacy; the skin was formerly used as leather.

Eels are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Anguilliformes.


See studies by R. Schweld (2002) and J. Prosek (2010).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about an eel?

Eels embody many of the meanings of snakes or serpents, although their watery habitat links them more explicitly with the powers of the unconscious. As phallic symbols, they indicate unconscious sexual desires. They may also symbolize something in the unconscious of which we are afraid.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for a number of unrelated fishes included in the orders Anguilliformes and Cypriniformes; all have an elongate, serpentine body.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any teleost fish of the order Apodes (or Anguilliformes), such as the European freshwater species Anguilla anguilla, having a long snakelike body, a smooth slimy skin, and reduced fins
2. any of various other animals with a long body and smooth skin, such as the mud eel and the electric eel
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
But global warming has threatened the Unagi eels with extinction; the discovery could spark ( new conservation efforts .
The chef's signature dishes include Foie Gras Unagi (a maki made with these special ingredients and sesame seeds) and the Honetsuki Kohitsuji (their miso marinated grilled lamp chops).
Unagi sea eel and foie gras with glazed soy and sweet gingered peach salsa, rich seafood bisquebouille with star anis, braised vegetables and ginger aE[macron]oli followed by a wild blueberry crE me brE[c]lE[umlaut]e are just a few examples of the delicacies guests will be treated to during the two-week French promotion.
Shown in the photo are the 505 Butterfly Effect, 502 Unagi and 504 Grasshopper.
He ordered great trays of unagi sushi, cooked eel on rice.
But he also realizes that there's something a smidge bizarre about a world in which the landlocked residents of, say, Oklahoma or Paraguay enjoy seemingly inexhaustible supplies of fatty tuna, while Tokyoites have learned to love unagi (grilled eel) served on buttery croissants.
Also available in "brushtail & vegetables" and "unagi & seaweed" varieties.
Top with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and unagi and roll tightly, pinching ends of rice paper to seal.
That makes it easier for him to focus on what he's doing right or wrong," says Robert Unagi, head video coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
The Unagi Rice ($8.75), prepared in a hot stone bowl at tableside, was rich and luscious.
His second award came in 1997 for Unagi (The Eel), about a businessman who will talk to no-one except an eel after he is convicted for murdering his adulterous wife.