Fish Fridays and other sea creatures-Brown Garden Eel

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Common Name: Brown Garden Eel

Latin Name: Heteroconger Longissimus

Location: Western Atlantic: Bahamas, Florida keys, Antilles, Yucatan, Belize and Honduras

Distinct Features and Information: Heteroconger garden eels are common inhabitants of sand-rubble areas, frequently in the vicinity of coral reefs. The group contains 32 species worldwide Found on sandy bottom, living in colonies. Feed on plankton and detritus. Garden eels occur at depths between about 2-55 m. The eels construct permanent burrows in the sand, which they never leave. Mating occurs between members of the opposite sex that occupy adjacent burrows by intertwining their bodies while the tail tips remain in their respective burrows (personal observations). Zooplankton is the primary dietary item and the eels rise nearly to full extent out of their burrows when feeding in the passing current. When disturbed the eels retreat backward down their burrows. When a diver swims through an extensive colony a “wave effect” is often created–the eels directly ahead gradually disappear into the sand, while those in the divers wake slowly reappear. Max length: 51.0 cm

Special Status or Protections: None

Brown Garden Eel Juvenile

Brown Garden Eel Adult

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