Lampetra fluviatilis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lampetra fluviatilis
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English River Lamprey

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-03-05
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J.
Reviewer(s): Kottelat, M. & Smith, K.
Contributor(s): Kottelat, M.
Still rare in some areas, but populations have markedly recovered following earlier pollution problems in central and western Europe.

European Union 27 = LC. Same rationale as above.

2008 Least Concern (IUCN 2008)
2008 Least Concern
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ireland, Great Britain north to Scotland, Atlantic coast of Portugal (maybe extirpated), France, North Sea north to Scotland and about Bergen (Norway), North and Baltic Sea basins; Mediterranean along French and western Italian coasts (maybe all extirpated). Occasional records in Adriatic and Ionian Seas and along coasts of Iberian Peninsula. Migrates into rivers of this area. Landlocked populations known from Lakes Ladoga and Onega (Russia), Loch Lomond (Scotland), some lakes in Finland and possibly Lough Neagh (Ireland).
Belarus; Belgium; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Guernsey; Ireland; Isle of Man; Jersey; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Russian Federation; Sweden; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Possibly extinct:
Regionally extinct:
Italy; Switzerland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Abundant.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat:
Adults live in coastal waters and estuaries and spawn in strong-current habitats of rivers and streams. Ammocoetes burrow in detritus-rich sands or clay sediments.

Predatory, with anadromous and landlocked populations. Adults migrate into rivers from autumn to spring. Migration is mainly nocturnal and ceases at low temperatures. Spawning season starts when water temperature rises above 9°C, which depends on latitude, starting in late March in France and mid-June in Finland. Spawning individuals cease their normal daylight avoidance reaction and reproduce on sunny days. Males dig shallow nests in habitats with fast current. Spawners form large aggregations. Adults die after spawning. Ammocoetes stage lasts 2½-3½ years. Ammocoetes feed on detritus and micro-organisms. After metamorphosis (from late summer to late autumn), most juveniles overwinter in freshwater and migrate to the sea in spring. At sea, adults prey on a wide variety of fish species, mostly Clupeidae and Gadidae. Feeds on body tissues of prey, which is usually killed while its flesh is excavated. Adults feed for 2 (rarely 1) summers before migrating to the spawning grounds. Individuals feeding for only a single summer before breeding are smaller. Landlocked population of Loch Lomond feeds for only one summer, then stops feeding and migrates in autumn to spawning grounds in River Endrick.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested for human consumption.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information available.

Citation: Freyhof, J. 2013. Lampetra fluviatilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 March 2015.
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