Monopterus albinus

27. August 2013

The swamp- or rice-eels are strange-looking fish that become around 75 cm long. In their natural habitat they live deeply burrowed in the mud. These fish can survive even in almost oxygen-free water, because they own a lung that enables them to breath atmospheric air they take from the water surface. Swamp-eels are predators that feed on small fish and shrimps. Swamp eels themselves are regarded as excellent food fish. They are usually marketed alive, for they can survive many hours outside the water.

These fish are no relatives of the eels (Anguilla). As far as it is known the males – which can be recognized by the broader head – build a foam nest. Under this nest the swamp-eels spawn.

Monopterus albinus has been described scientifically already back in 1844, but most subsequent workers regarded the species as a synonym of M. cuchia. One should not confuse M. albinus with M. albus, which is another, valid species! We received very stable M. albinus recently from India. The fish have a very different color compared with M. cuchia, so it seems to be very likely that they represent a good species on their own.

Swamp eels need places to cover in the aquarium, otherwise they feel uncomfortable, become very shy and tend to panic. Settled specimens, on the other hand, become very tame and take the food (dead fish, for example frozen smelt) from a forceps.

For our customers: the fish have code 436254 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Monopterus: means “with one fin”. albus: means “white”. albinus: means “whiting”. cuchia: after the vernacular name in Bengal. Pneumabranchus: means “branch of the lung”.

Suggestion of a common name: Golden tulip eel

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Indien / India
Verfügbare Größe in cm 30-40