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Species guide

Spotted garden-eel

Scientific name: Heteroconger hassi

DESCRIPTION:

The spotted garden eel is a fish with a body as thin as a snake. It is white with black stains.
Its maximum size is 60 cm.

BIOLOGY:

They live in colonies of hundreds of individuals and using their tails they dig into the sand to make holes to hide. When one detects a danger, it makes a sharp movement that alerts the others, and they hide quickly.

To feed, they bring almost all of their body out of the hole and balance against the current to catch the zooplankton.

They always remain in the hole, even for spawning, that is, for laying their eggs.

HABITAT:

It is normally found on sandy beds near coral reefs, at depths of between 7 and 45 m.

DISTRIBUTION:

Spotted garden-eels live in tropical waters in the Indian-Pacific region, Eastern Africa, Northern Japan, the south of New Caledonia (Oceania) and the Pitcairn Islands (Pacific Ocean).

STATUS:

Species not evaluated (according to the red list of endangered species).

CURIOSITIES:

Its skin produces a viscous substance that hardens the walls of the hiding place to avoid sinking.