|The Range of the European conger|
Description and behavior
European congers have a common length of 150 cm (59 in), a maximum length of 3 m (9.8 ft), and weigh up to 110 kg (240 lb), making them the largest eels in the world.
The body is very long, anguilliform, without scales. The color is usually gray but can also be blackish. The belly is white. A row of white small spots is aligned along the lateral line. The head is almost conical, slightly depressed. The snout is rounded and prominent, with lateral olfactory holes. The large gill openings are in lateral position. The conical teeth are arranged in rows on jaws. The dorsal and anal fins are confluent with caudal. Pectoral fins are present, while ventral fins are absent.
The conger eels have habits similar to moray eels. They usually live amongst rocks in holes, or "eel pits", sometimes in one hole together with moray eels. They come out from their holes at night to hunt. This nocturnal predator mainly feeds on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. These fish have a long larval stage and reproduce only once in their life, at an age of 5-15 years. The female produces anywhere from 3-8 million eggs.
Conger conger ranges from 0-500 m of depth. It is sometimes seen in very shallow water by the shore, but can also go down to depths of 1,170 m (3,840 ft). It is usually present on rocky and sandy bottoms, close to the coast when young, moving to deeper waters when adult.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Conger conger" in FishBase. May 2006 version.
- Animal Base
- UNEP-WCMC Species Database
- Animal Diversity
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