top of page

Common Name: Serpent Eel

Scientific Name: Ophisurus serpens


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Osteichthyes

Order: Anguilliformes

Family: Ophichthinae

Genus: Ophisurus

Species: O. serpens


The Ophisurus serpens, Serpent Eel, ranges in sizes up to 250cm long, and colors vary from a sandy brown to an olive green. The Serpent Eel is one of the longest types of the eel species. They have a jaw that extends past the eye with black pores. The Serpent Eel’s body is without scales and is like of flat fishes which help them burrow into mud and silt bottoms. Thus is a remarkable adaptation to their environment. You can identify this eel by its extremely long body.


This organism does well in its ecosystem because it’s subtropical and they are subtropical eels. Adult Serpent Eels can be found offshore while the young are found along the coastal waters. Usually you only see their head poking out from the ground. These eels are recorded in many places such as: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, and The Eastern Atlantic. They live in the marine depth of 300 m. There aren’t very many Serpent Eels. Their resilience is very low, which means, it takes a while before they can replace one another.


 The population of Serpent Eels is minimum double time more than 14 years. Its vulnerability helps the population shrink because they are ranking very high in vulnerability. The Serpent Eel’s role in the food web is not a very big predator. They don’t eat very big fish because well, they can’t even eat them. They go for the little fish and crustaceans by their sense of smell. No other fish competes for food with the Serpent Eel because there are many of them to go around.


When it comes to predators, they have one. It is called the Epinephelus marginatus, also known as The Dusky Grouper. A bony fish that has a big body along with a big mouth. They are one of the major predators in the Mediterranean. The Serpent Eel avoids being eaten by hiding in their hole. When I was reporting about the Serpent Eel what stood out the most was that they are the longest eel species. Plus they are very odd looking. I learned many things about them. I learned that there was even a Serpent Eel. I always thought there were only electric eels. I am guessing I was wrong.


Author: Myra V.

Published: 02/2009



Cornish, Charles. “The Standard Library of Natural ... - Google Book Search.” 11 Feb 2009 . “Serpent Eel, Ophisurus serpens.” 11 Feb 2009


Photo Credit:

bottom of page