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Garden Eels

  • Order: Anguilliformes
  • Family: Congridae
  • Genus: Heteroconger
  • Species: canabus
Fun Fact

Hundreds, even thousands, of garden eels may live together in a colony and resemble seagrass swaying in the ocean's current. 

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About Garden Eels

Garden eels have thin, tube-like bodies which is ideal for burrowing into the sand on the ocean floor. Garden eels use their rigid tails to dig their burrow and secrete a slime that that acts as a cement to hold the burrow in place.

When scared or threatened, garden eels will burrow far enough down to hide their entire body under the sand. Garden eels do not leave their burrows to eat, they only poke their head out to capture zooplankton as it floats by.

Garden eels may only leave their burrows during spawning season to create a new burrow closer to their mate.

Garden Eels in the Wild


Garden eels are found on the sandy ocean floor in tropical water, often near coral reefs.


Garden eels originated in the Indo-Pacific region which ranges from tropical areas in East Africa all the way to Japan and south to Australia. 


Garden Eels are carnivores who feed on zooplankton transported by the ocean’s current. 

Population Status

Not evaluated