The Surprising Truth About Do Eels Lay Eggs?

The answer is true. Actually, female eels produce eels, not male eels. They propagate millions of eggs in the seawater, and at the same time, male eels release sperm.

Then sperm is mixed into eggs for fertilization, and the female eels die after spawning. After a few days, eggs release larvae known as glass eels. They consumed food from the microscopic life on the surface of the ocean.

Do eels lay eggs or give birth?

Yes, eels lay eggs, but usually, they don’t give birth. Their reproductive system is full of riddles because they have never been seen mating or giving birth in the sea or anywhere.

Do eels lay eggs or give birth

 In Quebec, Pon of Laval University, Melanie Begur, says- “their migration remains a complete mystery.”

Hakan Wickstrom, a popular scientist at the Institute of Freshwater Research in Drottningholm, Sweden, says- Yet there must be something of a sargasso tale. They must spawn there because the tiniest eel larvae are found there.”

However, scientists are still finding the reason behind it, but the eel’s birth processing is still a mystery. Even research said that they reproduce through external fertilization.

How many eggs do eels lay?

Eels lay approximately 1 to 20 million eggs, but it varies due to the types of eels. There are mainly two types of eels-

  • The longfin eel-

They produce 1 to 20 million eggs and are considered the largest eel in the world. They can be found in lakes and rivers of New Zealand.

  • The shortfin eel-

The shortfin eels release 1 to 1.5 million eggs, less than longfin eels.

Where do eels lay their eggs?

Eel lays eggs in the Sargasso sea at a depth of about 600 meters. That is why it’s very tough to figure out where they breed.

In 2015, on October 27, the news was published in the latest edition of natural communication. The news is-

“After more than a century of speculation, researchers have finally proved that American eels really do migrate to the sargasso sea to reproduce. A team supervised by professor jullian Dodson of Universite laval and Martin castonguay Fisheries and oceans canada reports having established the migratory route of this species by tracking 28 eels fitted with satellite transmitters. One of these fish reached in the northern boundary of sargasso sea, the presumed reproduction site of the species after a 24,00 km journey.”

Do more eels lay eggs?

The answer is yes! The female eel can produce approximately 10,000 eggs at a time outside the body. These eggs are fertilized externally by male sperm.

Thus they become part of the plankton, which is known as larvae, and then they are ready to survive in the open sea. The whole process is called spawning.

Usually, moray eels breed in the spring and summer 

when the water seems warmest. They start the process by opening their mouth and wrap with each other for about one hour.

At that time, the female lays eggs, and the male helps to fertilize them. After completing the process, they leave each other. Within one year, more larvae turn to big size. They can easily swim on the ocean floor and hide themselves in crevices and rocks.

Do electric eels lay eggs?

Yes! Electric eels lay eggs, and female electric eels produce 12,000 to 17,000 eggs within the dry season. Though the life cycle of an electric eel is still a mystery, scientists are trying hard to catch their secret.

 Male electric eels make a nest with their saliva, and in the dry season, female eel release eggs into the nest.

After producing eggs, the female eel dies, and the male eel fertilizes the eggs. Later the fertilized egg turns into larvae. They have a long life span and live up to ten to 20 years.

What does mean fertilized eel eggs?

When female eels produce eggs outside of their body, at the same time, male eels release sperm. Then sperm is mixed into eggs, and in this way, eggs become fertilized.

After fertilization, eel eggs are ready to reproduce and turn into larvae called leptocephali. this is the primary stage of the eel’s life cycle. So fertilization is very important for the reduction of eels.

Electric eels naturally live in freshwater, and their habitat is deep water. They can be found especially in South America, the middle part of amazon, and the Orinoco.

Do freshwater eels lay eggs?

Yes! They do. Freshwater eels lay about 2 to 22 million eggs. They can be found in deeper oceans or seas worldwide. They live in the 13000 ft deeper water, and in the beginning, their habitat is mainly in freshwater like rivers, ponds, lakes, etc.

Some freshwater eels are given below-

American eel

It live in the Sargasso sea, and their breeding time starts from the late winter to early spring. Female American eels normally produce .5 million to 4 million eggs, whereas large-size female eels lay about a million.

European eel-

Usually lives in freshwater, marine, and brackish aquatic environments. Their habitat is the deep water, and most of the time live in the ocean or river floors which depts at o to 700m. They lay almost 2 to 10 million eggs, and just after laying eggs, they die.

Japanese eel-

Japanese eels are mainly found in china. They produce eggs like European eels, which are 2 to 10 million. Though their living area is in the freshwater during spawning, they lay eggs a thousand kilometers from the freshwater.

Do saltwater eels lay eggs?

Of course, saltwater eels lay eggs. There are various types of eels considered to be saltwater eels because they live in saltwater. Depending on eel type, female saltwater eels produce almost 10,000 to 10 million eggs, which are fertilized externally by male eels.

Do saltwater eels lay eggs

Let’s see what saltwater eel are-

  • moray eels
  • Japanese eels
  • conger eels
  • short-finned eels
  • black spotted eels
  • beach conger
  • peacock eel
  • snake eel
  • giant eel

Do all eels lay eggs?

Usually, all female eels lay eggs according to their species. In this world, there are 800 species of eels which are divided into 19 families and 111 genera. Female eels produce approximately 10,000 to 3 million eggs, varying from eel to eel.

The eel life cycle is still a mystery because nobody has seen how to reproduce eel. Researchers are working hard to solve the mystery of eels’ life cycle.

How often do eels lay eggs?

Well, most eels produce eggs only once in the last life cycle stage. Female eels have eggs in the surrounding water and are externally fertilized by male eels. After finishing the procedure, the female eel dies immediately.

Besides, few female eels can produce eggs for the second time in their life cycle, But it is rare.

Why do eels die after laying eggs?

Indeed, there is no exact answer because it’s a natural process of an eel’s life cycle. Most adult female eels mate and produce eggs once in a life and soon after die.

But why did they die? This is a confusing fact. Scientists have been studying eel science in ancient Greece, but they still don’t find accurate answers.

Check Related Article :


The processing of eggs and eels’ reproduction systems are quite interesting. But we have tried to put together much surprising information about eels.

If you still have any queries, please try to read the whole article carefully. I hope you will meet with your desired answer.

I am Mcman a fish lover. I love fishing since my childhood as may father was also a fisherman. I share all of my experiences in this blog. Stay connected with me to know new findings on Fishing.

Leave a Comment