lamprey eel n
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1883 Science 2.159 New Orleans LA, A superannuated old negro presented himself one morning with a live but rather small specimen of the three-toed siren [=Amphiuma tridactylum]. . . Long before this, reports had come to me from far and near of the dreaded ‘Congo,’ or ‘lamprey’ as it is often called. 1920 Copeia 82.41 LA, While in Louisiana in the Spring of 1915, I collected two specimens of Amphiuma means, and as I kept one alive in a tub for a number of days, visiting neighbors afforded a considerable collection of local names. These were Lamp Eel, Lamphe Eel, Lamper Eel and Lamprey Eel. The latter name is probably the source of the others and the better educated among my visitors assured me that this was the case. 1928 Baylor Univ. Museum Contrib. 16.9, Lamprey Eel. . . is the name the Siren assumes when it becomes the dreaded animal whose bite is considered to produce instant death. In common use throughout Louisiana and Texas east of the Trinity River. 1932 Monroe News–Star (LA) 5 Dec 1/1, The eel commonly called the lamprey is not a lamprey at all, but a conger eel. The conger eel has the distinction of having rudimentary feet and legs and strong jaws. 1986 Clarion–Ledger (Jackson MS) 21 Aug sec C 1/1 nwFL, I was pleasantly surprised to even see a “lamprey eel” (or “conger” eel, as some fisherfolk call the huge, slithery, legged creatures I used to pull out of old tires sunk in the Indian Bayou as a kid). Being in a museum, the creature is labeled Three-toed Amphiuma.
1968 Delta Democrat–Times (Greenville MS) 8 Nov 4/5, Thorne Crosby, then about ten years old, caught a lamp-eel, also known as a lamprey-eel in local piscatorial jargon, and either label being quite incorrect because what Thorne had really caught was a “water-dog’, something that looked sort of like a gar with four feet.