A Conger Off the Coast of Portugal - Observation of the Week, 5/24/22

Our Observation of the Week is this European Conger (Conger conger, Congro in Portuguese), seen in Portugal by @cyberoceans!

“Quoting Jacques Cousteau: ‘The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever,’” says Ana Santos. “This happened to my husband and me 10 years ago and I still wonder on every immersion.”

While she’s not a marine biologist, Ana says many of her friends are and they have encouraged her to post her sightings to iNaturalist. “I try to help scientific projects with some of my pictures,”

In fact, one of my first posts was the first sighting of a Tethys Fimbria ever registered before in Professor Luis Saldanha Marine Park. I believe the more informed you are, the better prepared you are to protect, conserve and act on ocean and nature conservation. That’s why I use iNat and that’s another purpose for my portfolio.

A few weeks ago, while diving in the wreck of the MV River Gurara, which sank thirty-three years ago off of Cape Espichel, Portugal, Ana spotted the juvenile eel you see above. Like many other animals, it’s now made its home in the wreckage, seeking shelter during the day before emerging at night to hunt fish and invertebrates. 

European congers “have a long slender and rounded body similar to a snake with no scales,” says Ana, “and they can reach two meters in length. They’re  black or grey on the back and lighter on the belly, and has a large mouth with thick lips, strong jaws and sharp teeth.” Females (often much larger than males) can weigh in at around 72 kg (159 lb), making this species the heaviest eel species in the world. 

Ana (above) calls diving her “passion” and tells me “every photo or video allows me to relive every moment and curiosity about sea creatures got me to iNat to better identify and understand each species. My camera goes everywhere I go and I also capture other nature wonders on land, inspired by iNat.”

- You can follow Ana on Instagram!

- Here’s some video of a European conger off of Ireland.

- There are over 20,000 verifiable observations of “true” eels on iNat, take a look a that diversity!

- It’s not a true eel, a marbled swamp eel seen by @henicorhina was our Observation of the Week back in 2017.

Publicado el 24 de mayo de 2022 a las 08:35 PM por tiwane tiwane


Wow, what a stunning color! I didn't know eels could be so deep blue/purple.

Anotado por carrieseltzer hace casi 2 años


Anotado por cesarcastillo hace casi 2 años

Loving the camera setup -- how cool!

Anotado por biocowboy hace casi 2 años

I really appreciate these stories of such unique people and nature! Thank you!

Anotado por metsa hace casi 2 años

I remember seeing and favoriting this observation right after it was posted! What a cool creature, and very charming photos of it too. :)

Anotado por rinwolfe hace casi 2 años

How lovely! Thanks!

Anotado por susanhewitt hace casi 2 años

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