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Obscure Swamp Eel

Home Forums Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes Obscure Swamp Eel

This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Matt 9 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #300413

    johnpeten
    Participant

    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).

    #315414

    Matt
    Keymaster

    John I’ve sent you a digital copy of the description.

    #315424

    johnpeten
    Participant

    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 /laugh.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:lol:” border=”0″ alt=”laugh.gif” />

    Attached files

    #315428

    Malti
    Participant

    how big does this get?

    #315429

    Plaamoo
    Participant

    Handsome devil

    #315430

    johnpeten
    Participant

    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.

    #315431

    Malti
    Participant

    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

    #315473

    johnpeten
    Participant

    QUOTE (plaamoo @ Oct 31 2009, 11:22 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Handsome devil

    Attached files

    #315474

    Malti
    Participant

    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

    #315475

    johnpeten
    Participant

    Some slightly better photos showing the red patches on the gill flaps.

    Attached files

    #315476

    johnpeten
    Participant

    A slightly larger one has just been delivered.

    Attached files

    #315478

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Fantastic!

    #315479

    johnpeten
    Participant

    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.

    #315497

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Keep us informed John please.

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