Echidna nebulosa - Snowflake Eel

Family - Muraenidae

Order - Anguilliformes

Length - 4 to 36 inches

Recognition - White skin with dark and yellow patches, bright yellow nostrils

Habitat - Tropical saltwater in shallow reefs

Behavior - Carnivore

Residency - Pacific and Indian Oceans

Life Span - Up to 20 years in captivity

Of Special Note - The snowflake eel is arguably the most popular eel for home aquariums. It is regarded as not being reef safe, although some people have reported success when it is fed regularly. If placed in a reef environment, this species will often attack crustaceans as well as fish.

The snowflake eel enjoys hiding among the rocks and will rarely leave its hiding place except to eat. At night, the eel may roam the aquarium and hunt for escape routes. With this in mind, ensure that your aquarium has no holes at the top from which the eel could potentially crawl out of. In order to help the eel hide, you may wish to submerge a length of pvc pipe under the sand.

Care should be taken when placing your hands inside of an aquarium containing this species. The snowflake eel is generally docile, but can inflict a painful bite if provoked or hungry. It is recommended that you feed the eel with a pair of tongs and feed it before or at the same time that you feed your other critters to prevent it from attacking them.

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