Part of a family of 100 or so species of Conger Eels (family Congridae) this is the European Conger Eel! Commonly over a 1.5m long with a maximum reported length at 3m weighing up to 110kg! These are by far the largest eels in the world by weight whereas if length is the consideration this humble 3m eels bow to the length of the Indo-Pacific Slender Giant Moray at a cool 4m!!! Their body is long snake-like but without scales! The colour is gray black while the belly is white.
These wonderful fish inhabit a wide underwater zone from shallow waters, quite close to shore to 500m in depth. Similar in choice of abode as the morays these fish prefer holes or crevices in rocky or sandy bedded reefs or coral formations staying within the confines of their holes during the day and venturing out at night. It has been observed that younger eels keep closer to shore slowly venturing out in the deep blue as they mature into adulthood!
Hunting at night this predator has a wide choice of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans! A ferocious eater to match its fast growth rate!
Interestingly these fish have a very long larval stage and reproduce once in their lives usually between the age of 5 to 15 years of age with the female producing anything between 3 and 8 million eggs presumably to even out the odds for the extended larval period which makes this eel’s larvae inevitably part of the food chain for an extended period of time. Spawning occurs in the summer time in the Mediterranean Sea.
Dive Site Encounters
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!!! WARNING !!!
Similar to Moray Eels these great fish will act aggressively if interrupted during feeding and of course if any sort of poking or threatening movements are made towards this fish. This is a solid fast animal with strong jaws and razor sharp teeth that is usually shy and swims away from swimmers or divers unless provoked. In keeping with diving etiquette most divers will refrain from touching or teasing wildlife. You have been warned.