Freshwater :: Swamp-eels ::

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Common Name(s): Swamp Eel
Scientific Name: Monopterus Albus
Local Name(s): [Hk]Hsien Heurr, [My]Ikan Belut
Precaution: Caution of bites when handling
Edible: Yes
CNR Time: 10 mins

Swamp Eels are common in Singapore though not easily spotted as they spend most of the time in the burrows. They're very adaptive and are typically found in streams with soil/muddy banks where they can burrow into. They may also be found hiding under rocks in the streams as well. Being air breathers, they are very adaptive to places with very little water so long it is cool and moist. They can survive without water for very long time.

Most of the time, they would stay at the opening of the burrow waiting for a meal to pass by. They feed mainly on small fishes and prawns. It is possible to catch them by angle but you will need to spot its burrow first. Use small hooks and small fishes/worms/prawns and leave it at its burrow opening. It is a challenge to pull them out of their burrow as the Swamp Eel use it as an anchor.

Swamp eels have a coat of mucus over its body which makes it very hard to gripe with bare hands. Although they aren't aggressive nor have very sharp teeth, they do bite when threatened. Large swamp eels can inflict painful bites and sometimes can inflict a bleeding wound.

Swamp Eels are also sold live in local wet markets.

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Reference: Fishbase, RMBR


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