Different Types of Eels

Eel is a fish species belonging to the order of squaliform. It consists of suborders which are twenty families, one hundred and eleven genera and eight hundred species. It is a more exotic creature of the sea with about eight of its species known to science. Conger and Moray are the common genera of marine eel from where many exist with a different diet, color, habitat, and sizes. That said here are the various types of eels.

Black spotted eel

This eel has an exotic color pattern. It is a spiny eel that is usually confused with the truck eel. It has a long elongated snout. It’s well-sized with its specimens commonly being twenty inches in length. The eel is found in Asia in Carraway and Chindwin River drainage of western Myanmar. It is listed as least concern species on the IUCN red list. This is because it’s believed to be distributed widely and is fairly common. It has extended dorsal and anal fins joined to the caudal fin. The fish can live eight to eighteen years given proper care. Its body length has a series of spots arranged in linear fashion.

Electric eel

The electric eel has an elongated electrical body that can grow to about two meters in length and twenty kilograms in weight making it the largest species of gymnotiform.Its back is dark gray to brown in color, and its belly is orange to yellow in color. The belly of a mature female is dark in color. The fish has a squared mouth positioned at the end of its snout. The swim bladder of this eel has two chambers small bones derived from the neck vertebrae known as Weberian apparatus connect the anterior chamber to the inner ear enhancing its hearing capability. Its posterior chamber extends along its whole body length and maintains the fish buoyancy.

Half-banded Spiny Eel

It is one of the smallest spiny eels. It has a long pointy snout at the end of its elongated body. Its maximum body size is just less than eight inches. The young ones of about three inches length can be held in ten gallons, but the larger ones would require bigger area. This eel has a unique color pattern different from Asian spiny eel. Not only is the eel relatively small but is also hardy when acclimated. It can be found in Asia in Chaos and Mekong basin.

Ocellated Spiny Eel

The ocellated spiny eel attractiveness lies in its unusual color pattern and interesting behavior. Its background color is dark tan to light brown. This eel is somewhat small for it has body length measuring about twelve inches in the wild while in the aquarium it rarely gets this big usually reaching the length of about six inches. It is an attractive little fish and quite durable but can also be shy when first acquired.

Peacock eel

Peacock eel is found in Mae Kong River basin in southeast Thailand.The fish is light brown in color with a thin yellow stripe running from its eye to the base of its tail. It has an elongated body with a pointed snout. Its dorsal and anal fin extends back to its small caudal fins. This fish species can inhabit the slow moving vegetative areas of rivers and waters.

Purple spaghetti eel

The purple spaghetti eel is a shy fish species for it would hide and spend most of its time burrowed in the sand. It has long thin spaghetti like body with a small head inconspicuous from the rest of the body. Its eyes are small and are covered with skin. It can grow to about seventeen inches in length. It got its name not only because of its spaghetti-like body but also because of its purplish and pinkish brown color.

Tire track eel

Tire track eel is a large fish with a body like a snake. The fish anal and dorsal fins are connected to its caudal fin. Its dorsal fin has numerous spines preceding to the back. While its head is silver beige, its body color is dull brown with a light shade of brown color to the belly.

Zig zag eel

This eel species was recognized and described over two hundred years ago. Although not considered to be a real Eel it has a definite eel-like body shape. It is a cute little fish when first acquired, and measures about four inches long. This fish species has a series of dark markings along its entire body length.

Fresh water eel

Fresh water eel has an excellent sense of smell but can’t see well. This eel has a snake-like body and varies in coloration and size. It can open its jaw to allow water over its gills for breathing. The average adult size can grow to between one to three feet long.

Salt water eel

These eels have a good sense of smell, but poor eye sight. They feed mostly on crustaceans and fish, and most of them would adjust life well in captivity for they are hardy inhabitants. They breathe with their jaws opened so as to allow water to flow through their gills.

Swamp eels

These are eel-like freshwater fishes of tropics and subtropics. Most of them breathe air and live in ponds or low-lying areas. Sometimes they bury themselves in the mud. If there is water scarcity, they have different adaptation lifestyle.

Rubber Eel

A rubber eel can be found in Colombia-Venezuela. Its natural home is dry savannah. It is usually kept as an aquarium pet and sometimes can be sold as fish in an aquarium store. It can grow from forty-five to fifty-five centimeters in length.

Short-Finned eel

It has a long and snake-like body. Its head is small with a jaw that can reach back to below the eye. The anal and dorsal fins are of equal length. Their color differentiates considerable from one another.


Eels have practical usages for humans for they are favorite food in some cultures, e.g., the Japanese, Koreans and the Chinese consider them as modern cuisine.


No comments.

Leave a Reply