Find out about the rare and unusual lamprey (Lampetra planeri).
Typical size: 10-15cm
Lifespan: 4 to 8 years
Appearance: lampreys lack gill covers and paired fins and instead of a jawed mouth, have a sucker disc with two tooth plates with a few blunt teeth.
They are eel like in shape, being long and cylindrical with a rear dorsal fin near to the tail and seven breathing holes on each side of the body. They are dark brown or dark grey in the body, have a white belly and bright yellow eyes.
Lamprey hold on to the bottom, suckered on with the use of their mouth. They feed on bacteria, algae and other types of detritus from the water and the mud. They are present in the Swansea Canal in quite high numbers and occasionally appear elsewhere.
Last date edited: 4 July 2016