By Bob Goemans
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Eels - Snake

 Ophichthus bonaparti (Napoleon Snake Eel)

Ophichthus bonaparti
(Kaup, 1856)

Napoleon Snake Eel

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Not Suitable for Fish-Only Tank


Some of these fishes belong in the Order Anguilliformes, which contains the Suborder Muraenoidei and Family Muraenidae (Moray Eels). Others belong in the Suborder Congroidei, Family Heterocongridae (Conger Eels & Garden Eels), and still others belong in the Family Ophichthidae (Snake Eels & Worm Eels), all totaling 8 subfamilies, 110+ genera, and 550+ species. Check each group listed to see those of interest.

Most that are of hobbyist interest are nocturnal creatures staying in caves and crevices during the day with their heads barely showing. They venture out during evening hours in the search of small fish, invertebrate, and crustaceans. Others are daytime hunters checking out various holes and crevices in hope of finding a meal. Some prefer crustaceans, while other prefer small fishes. Others burrow into sandy areas and watch for passing meals of interest.

Some have very bad eyesight and rely on sense of smell for catching their prey. Remember that they do not know your fingers from other meaty foods, so do not put your fingers near their mouth. A well-covered aquarium is also a good idea as they have a propensity for escaping. They are carnivores and require a diet of fresh fish flesh, clams, and/or crustaceans. They lack scales and to protect themselves, generate copious amounts of body slime.

For in-depth information concerning these beautiful reef fishes, checkout 'Reef Fishes, Volume 1' by Scott Michael (ISBN #1-890087-21-1). You can see a review of this exquisite book by visiting my 'Product & Book Reviews' page.

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