What Do Eels Eat?
There are a lot of aquatic creatures that are known as eels and they inhabit different environments. There are several eels that are found in sea water and rivers such as electric eels, rubber eels, spiny eels, swamp eels and eel catfish. Thus, we can say that there are many other species and types of eels and all of them have different eating habits and behaviors. Some of them are not even true eels at all. They are named so because they have a long narrow body like eels do. Just for your information, Electric eels are not eels at all, they are knifefish.
The giant moray eel is the largest of the moray eel family but it is not the longest. The longest eel is the selender giant moray eel. The ribbon eel is the only eel that is protandric, which means they are born as males and becomes female when they get older.
So, which is the real eel?
You might also be wondering that which one is the original eel because there are so many types. According to marine sciences, Anguilliformes are the original eels, and they include freshwater eels, spaghetti and worm eels. Their eating habits depend upon their mood and needs and sometimes they are carnivores, predators and cannibals.
Normal diet and foods consumed by eels
When hungry, they are not particularly bothered about their meal size but small sized fish are preferable among them. Under certain conditions and extreme hunger, eels can eat invertebrates, shrimps, crabs and crustaceans. You can also keep them in captivity such as in zoos, where they would be fed with meat and beef hearts. Many eels don’t eat their own kind but a few do. So, you have to be very careful while placing them all together. Due to their needs and demands, eels also move from one sea to another to change their environment. Under such conditions, they may choose different things to eat such as worms, fish and small crustaceans. Eels that are keep as pets also prefer to eat frozen bloodworm, brine shrimps, crickets, beef heart, and tubifex worms as food.
Diet by different types of eels
As mentioned earlier, eels have different eating habits and it changes as their environment or water changes. Freshwater eels have different priorities when it comes to eating and swamp eels are different again. Below some important types of eels are mentioned, along with their dietary preferences.
- Striped Peacock Eels eat crickets, fish, shrimps, earthworms, worms (earth/blood).
- Short Finned Eels can eat frogs, insects, fish, shrimps, yabbies and mollusks.
- Dragon Moray Eels can hunt down octopus, large fish and squids.
- Garden Eels can easily eat meat, fish, shrimps and worms of any kind.
- Snowflake Moray Eels will eat mollusks, shrimps, crabs, squids and octopus
Eels are very good at hunting and usually attack their prey via their smell and movements.
Eels do have teeth and have different diets
Some eels have blunt sharp teeth that allows them to eat and grind their prey along with their shells without any trouble. Some eels have sharp teeth but they are small in size and can’t grind shells or hard things. Moray eels are one of them and they eat small fish, crabs and small eels to stay alive. Moreover, gulper eels A.K.A pelican eels eat small invertebrates, shrimps, fish, seaweed and plankton. Thus, there are different items that eels eat while moving from one place to another.