The eels were first found in Florida in 1997. Three populations are known. Sites include canals in the northern Miami area, a small drainage near southern Tampa Bay, and a canal system close to Homestead near Everglades National Park. 
To date, Asian swamp eels have not been found in Everglades National Park, although they have been found within less than one kilometer (about 0.6 mile) from the eastern border of the Park.
The origins of the US populations are not known. However, the eel may have been introduced as a result of aquarium releases or a fish-farm escape.
Asian swamp eels are predators that eat a variety of animals including crayfish, shrimp, worms, frogs, tadpoles, and other fishes.