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There are three lamprey species in the UK. Brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri) remain in freshwater. River lamprey (L. fluviatalis) and Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) are anadromous-migrating to sea where they parasitize other fish. After hatching, juvenile lampreys, known as ammocoetes, spend up to 5 years growing in their burrows in silt before developing eyes and teeth and emerging.

Ammocoetes of both Lampetra sp. and Petromyzon marinus have been found in the River Carron below the bridge at Strathcarron. Lampetra have also been found in the River Croe, River Shiel and Glenmore (Glenelg) rivers but not further north.

Age 0+ Lamprey ammocoete         [Close]
Lamprey habitat, silty sediment at ford in tributary of the Glenmore river         [Close]
Brook lampreys         [Close]
Brook lamprey (top) and Sea lamprey (below) ammocoetes from the River Carron         [Close]

Lamprey Photography

Click a photograph to see it enlarged.