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Obscure Swamp Eel
October 30, 2009
3:49 pm
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johnpeten
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Scientifically little has been written about this guy. Rosen and Greenwood described it in 1976 and there are several officially recorded sightings in Guatemala on or after this date. I have tried to find the original description but it is available in an obscure format which I have not fathomed yet.
Swamp eels are found in many countries. Many people call creatures eels that are not technically eels. The eel known to everybody is the one that has to go into the sea to breed, possibly the Sargasso area. It is often a pain in the posterior when freshwater fishing as it always swallows the hook.
The species named above I believe to be in Lake Peten and just about everybody here knows about it or has eaten it.
It has also been found in many other places (not officially) including Belize. I found this comment on a forum.
The swamp eel I am most familar with is Ophisternon aenigmaticum, the obscure swamp eel, which we collected at a dozen different localities in Belize. At one locality, we were collecting at night with headlights. It was at a road crossing with a bridge, and there was rip-rap rock laid around the bridge foundation. There was a swamp eel in the rip-rap, with about half its body out in the current. There were schools of Astyanax, about 1.5 in long. I watched the eel grab a couple of the Astyanax. I thought it was pretty efficient in its fishing.
So why no photos exist is a bit of a mystery.
I have been assured that I will have one of these creatures in my possession very soon. I have offered a very large reward of US$ 6.00 (a days pay here).

October 31, 2009
9:09 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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John I've sent you a digital copy of the description.

Cake or death?
October 31, 2009
2:07 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (Matt @ Oct 31 2009, 02:52 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
John I've sent you a digital copy of the description.


Many thanks Matt. We now know what to expect to see when we get hold of hopefully a live one. Keeping our fingers clear of the mouth of course /huh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":huh:" border="0" alt="huh.gif" /> /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

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October 31, 2009
2:41 pm
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Malti
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how big does this get?

October 31, 2009
5:39 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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Handsome devil /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />
Looking forward to your pics John!

October 31, 2009
6:19 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (Malti @ Oct 31 2009, 08:24 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
how big does this get?


When I ask the locals they spread their arms a yard wide. However specimens collected in Guatemala range from 5 to 30 inches.

October 31, 2009
6:28 pm
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Malti
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QUOTE (johnpeten @ Oct 31 2009, 08:02 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
When I ask the locals they spread their arms a yard wide. However specimens collected in Guatemala range from 5 to 30 inches.

thx /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

November 6, 2009
5:48 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (plaamoo @ Oct 31 2009, 11:22 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Handsome devil /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />
Looking forward to your pics John!


The boys brought me a baby this morning only 6 cms. Being so small and rapid constant movement, hard to photograph. A giant was available but as I had asked for a medium size, they took me at my word and ate the big one.
I can understand why they call it a culebra (snake).

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November 6, 2009
6:08 pm
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Malti
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QUOTE (johnpeten @ Nov 6 2009, 07:31 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
The boys brought me a baby this morning only 6 cms. Being so small and rapid constant movement, hard to photograph. A giant was available but as I had asked for a medium size, they took me at my word and ate the big one.
I can understand why they call it a culebra (snake).

its a real beauty! just lost my marine eel /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

November 6, 2009
7:00 pm
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johnpeten
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Some slightly better photos showing the red patches on the gill flaps.

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November 6, 2009
7:50 pm
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johnpeten
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A slightly larger one has just been delivered.

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November 7, 2009
10:50 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Fantastic! /cool.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="B)" border="0" alt="cool.gif" /> Are they feeding already John?

Cake or death?
November 7, 2009
12:55 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (Matt @ Nov 7 2009, 04:33 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are they feeding already John?


At the moment they have burrowed into the fine gravel under rocks. Hopefully they may come out looking for food.
These primative creatures are strange in every way. They apparently can breath air and can change sex.
It is suggested that they existed during the Miocene epoch more than 5 million years ago. Their offspring are called larva for some reason, yet to be investigated.
Keeping them in an aquarium could be a problem.

November 9, 2009
8:11 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Keep us informed John please. /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

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