Snout rather long, and moderately broad; gape extending not quite to a vertical line from the posterior part of the orbit: rather less than one-third of the entire length before the dorsal, and between one-seventh and one-eighth before the pectorals.
A. mediorostris, Yarrell's Mss. Snig Eel, Yarr. in Jesses Glean, of Nat. Hist. (2nd Series) pp. 75, & 76.
The length of my specimen is nineteen inches.
(Form†) More slender and elongated in proportion to the depth and thickness than either of the preceding species: depth at the commencement of the dorsal fin not exceeding one-nineteenth of the entire length: nape but little elevated, and nearly in the same horizontal line with the profile: snout and jaws somewhat resembling those of the A. acutirostris, but longer and broader than in that species, though not so broad as in the A. latirostris: both jaws rounded at their extremities; the lower one longest: teeth longer and more developed than in the A. acutirostris: gape more capacious, owing to the greater length of the jaws; commissure nearly, but not quite, extending to a tangent to the posterior part of the orbit: the distance from the eye to the end of the snout equalling full twice the diameter of the former: dorsal commencing rather before one-third of the entire length; its height about one-third of the depth of the body: vent nearer the middle than in either of the two former species: caudal moderately pointed at its extremity: pectorals small; the distance from the line of their insertion to the end of the snout contained seven times and a half in the entire length. (Colours). Upper parts dark greenish brown, passing by a lighter olive-green to yellowish white below.
This species was first distinguished by Mr. Yarrell, who received it from the river Avon in Hampshire. Said to be known there by the name of Snig. Does not attain to a large size, seldom exceeding half a pound in weight. Said to differ from the other eels in its habit of roving and feeding during the day. Presents also some osteological peculiarities, "the first five cervical vertebrae being smooth and round, and entirely destitute of superior or lateral spinous processes, both of which are possessed by the two other species ‡".
Brit. fr. wat. Fish. Draw. no. 28. LAnguille Plat-Bee, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 349.
Being unacquainted with this species, I am unable to point out its distinguishing characters. According to Mrs. Bowdich, it is the smallest of the Eel tribe, and is caught plentifully in the Thames, but more especially in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. She thinks that Pennant has confounded it with the Glut Eel. Mr. Yarrell informs me, he considers it as distinct from the last species.
* Proceed, of Zool. Soc. 1831. p. 133.
† The above description having been drawn up with reference to a single specimen, the only one I have had an opportunity of examining, possibly some of the characters may not be found constant in all cases.
‡ Yarr. I.c.
(2. Conger, Cuv).