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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 9:29 EDT

Spotted garden-eel

The Spotted garden-eel, Heteroconger hassi, is a conger of the family Congridae, found in Indo-Pacific oceans from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Society Islands, north to the Ryukyu and Ogasawara islands, south to northwestern Australia and New Caledonia, and throughout Micronesia, at depths of between 22.97 and 147.64 ft (7 and 45 m). Length is up to 15.75 in (40 cm), and the body diameter is up to about .55 in (14 mm).

The markings on the spotted garden-eel are variable but usually two large black spots are obvious. The anterior nostrils are included in a continuous free labial flange. The pectoral fins are minute. It is often found on sandy slopes below 49.21 ft (15 m), and withdraws into its burrow when approached. They are usually in colonies containing up to several hundred individuals.

Photo by João Carvalho

Spotted garden-eel