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Albino Brook Lamprey? (1 Viewer)

Dry ice

Active member
Brook lampreys are starting their spring run. Every 2-3 years I see one of these (on the east Devon River Axe system) this would imply that they are relatively common (I am a part-time observer). I apologise for the quality of the picture, autofocus chose the normal lamprey. How a creature so gaudy survives the rigours of predation is a miracle. As you can see they are hot orange with crimson eyes. Is this an albino brook lamprey? Has anybody seen them in other river systems?
 

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Gerry Hooper

Certified User
Saw dead one on the road next to river Exe a few years ago, much larger than those in photo. River Severn is good for them, never seen albino variety.
 

Dry ice

Active member
Saw dead one on the road next to river Exe a few years ago, much larger than those in photo. River Severn is good for them, never seen albino variety.

They are about 6 inches in length, because the run of adults is the culmination of their life-cycle, there is very little variation in size. I would imagine what you saw was probably a sea lamprey.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/5649149/Rare-blood-sucking-lamprey-fish-return-to-English-rivers.html

For anyone interested in seeing brook lampreys running, they will hold up on concrete aprons particularly in the headwaters of river systems. If my viewing spot is anything to go by, numbers are highest around tea time. Here, normally the run lasts to the end of April. It may be worth stopping the car when you cross such a spot on a small stream! Here are some from yesterday:
 

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