The fire eel is a member of the spiny eel family. This family is named for the spines running down its back, however, these spines are not harmful to humans.
  • Size

    Maximum length of 40 inches (100 cm).
  • Diet

    Omnivorous benthic feeder.
  • Range

    Occurs in freshwater environments in parts of Asia.
  • Habitat

    Inhabits sluggish lowland waters.

Physical Characteristics

  • Maximum length of 40 inches (100 cm).
  • Narrow, pointed snout; head is triangular in shape and gradually widens into the streamlined body with small pectoral fins towards the front portion. Body ends in a thin paddle-like tail.
  • Head, body and tail are black in coloration but may appear green or blue depending on lighting.
  • Head and back portion of body streaked with red and black horizontal bands. Middle section of body has prominent red spots or elongated marks.

Animal Fact

Dioecious; externally fertilizes eggs.

Diet / Feeding

  • Omnivorous benthic feeder.
  • Diet consists of insect larva, worms, small fish and some plant material.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in freshwater environments in parts of Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam through Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Inhabits sluggish lowland waters including slow-moving rivers and floodplains.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Dioecious; externally fertilizes eggs.
  • Does not display egg guarding behavior.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Member of the spiny eel (Mastacembelidae) family. This family of eels is named for the spines running along the back. These spines, however, are not harmful to humans.

Sources

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