ID Guide

Lampreys are eel-like creatures but you can distinguish them by the gill-holes behind their head and their sucker mouths containing lots of teeth. In the UK, we have 3 species of lamprey; brook, river and sea lampreys.

As a quick rule of thumb bear these guidelines in mind when trying to ID lampreys:

– If the lamprey are about the length and width of a standard ballpoint pen they are probably brook lamprey.

– If they are about 1 adult human middle finger thick and about the length of your hand and forearm combined they are probably river lamprey.

– If they are mottled/marbled in colouration on the back, about 2-3 adult human fingers thick and about the length of your (adult) hand and arm combined (or more) they are sea lamprey.

sea lamprey

Sea lamprey

Adult sea lampreys can grow to 90cm. They are yellow/brown in colour and can have a red tinge which….

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river lamprey

River lamprey

Adult river lampreys can reach between 30-50cm in length. They are blue-grey…

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brook lamprey

Brook lamprey

Brook lampreys grow to around 12cm but can grow to 16cm. They are a similar in…

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To maximise your chances of seeing these amazing creatures read our blog on when, where and how to spot lampreys during spawning season!

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