Chicago ~ April 22, 2005
Fire eels (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia) at the
As the title says, I love eels, and fire eels are among my favorite. I think of this species as small, because most of my experience with them has been in smaller home or pet store fish tanks. These two were probably between 12 and 18 inches long when I saw them at the Shedd Aquarium (maybe longer, it's hard to remember), but I've just learned that 3 feet is not an unusual size for a fire eel if your tank is big enough. The Aquatic Community web site says fire eels can be found in "floods and streams in India, Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). The Fire eel has an elongated body that can reach a length of 100 centimeters (40 inches) in the wild." The ones in fish tanks tend to be shy and they don't bite. I wonder about the big ones. . . .
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