and garden eels


A large colony of garden eels sway and feed in the gentle currents off Dumaguete Philippines. Garden eels are extremely shy and harmless members of the conger eel family. They live in burrows on the sea floor and are very social creatures that form large colonies. The currents deliver a a continuous passing supply of plankton allowing the eels to feed in the comfort and safety of their sandy home. As our team approached this giant colony they quickly vanished into their burrows as if they never existed. I find these colonies to be hypnotic living gardens in the sea. Thank you to Leandro Blanco for video support. On assignment for @natgeo Philippines, Inside the Coral Triangle.


Garden eels bop in the currents looking for food. #garden #eels #gardeneels #plankton #onthemenu #newenglandaquarium #boston #massachusetts #oceananimals #fish (at New England Aquarium)

Made with Instagram

When some gold catches your eye on a reef during your dive – that’s a moray! 

Here, a juvenile goldentail moray pokes its head out of a small crevice in the reef at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Goldentail morays are just one species of moray eel that can be found in the sanctuary – green morays, spotted morays, and others are also known to live in the reef’s cracks and crevices. 

(Photo: Steve Miller)


Garden eels, members of the conger eel family, live in the Indo-Pacific, but species are also found in warmer parts of the Atlantic Ocean and East Pacific. These small eels live in burrows on the sea floor and get their name from their practice of poking their heads from their burrows while most of their bodies remain hidden. Since they tend to live in groups, the many eel heads “growing” from the sea floor resemble the plants in a garden.

Eel Garden by juliosanjuan5 These small eels live in burrows on the bottom sand. Their name come from their practice of poking their heads from their burrows while most of their bodies remain hidden.
For this reason are difficult to capture with the camera.

Photo by @daviddoubilet A vast zen garden of eels rise from the soft sands of Dumaguete Philippines. These guys are called “Garden eels” and they live in burrows in the sea floor, they are social creatures that prefer large groups (colonies) that resemble large gardens. These gentle creatures wave in the current and capture passing plankton; they look scary but they are incredibly shy and disappear into the sand when you approach them. It takes many hours to get them used to the presence of a camera on the sea floor. From my current @natgeo story coverage in the #Philippines focusing on this corner of the #CoralTriangle . @thephotosociety #eel #scary #plankton #ocean #garden #weird #zen #wonderful for #moreocean follow @jenniferhayesig and @daviddoubilet by natgeo

Spotted Garden Eel (Heteroconger hassi)

The spotted garden eel is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific from the eastern coasts of Africa including the Red Sea to Polynesia, and south from Japan to New Caledonia.

It lives exclusively in variously sized colonies on sandy bottoms that are exposed to currents, at depths from 15 to 45 meters.  It digs a burrow from which it emerges with about a third of its body, pointing its mouth towards the underwater current to catch drifting food.