Swamp eel

Swamp eels
Monopterus albus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Synbranchiformes
Suborder: Synbranchoidei
Boulenger, 1904[2]
Family: Synbranchidae
Bonaparte, 1835[1]
Type species
Synbranchus marmoratus
Bloch, 1795[3]


The swamp eels (also written "swamp-eels") are a family (Synbranchidae) of freshwater eel-like fishes of the tropics and subtropics.[4] Most species are able to breathe air and typically live in marshes, ponds and damp places, sometimes burying themselves in the mud if the water source dries up. They have various adaptations to suit this lifestyle; they are long and slender, they lack pectoral and pelvic fins, and their dorsal and anal fins are vestigial, making them limbless vertebrates. They lack scales and a swimbladder, and their gills open on the throat in a slit or pore. Oxygen can be absorbed through the lining of the mouth and pharynx, which is rich in blood vessels and acts as a "lung".

Although adult swamp eels have virtually no fins, the larvae have large pectoral fins which they use to fan water over their bodies, thus ensuring gas exchange before their adult breathing apparatus develops. When about a fortnight old they shed these fins and assume the adult form. Most species of swamp eel are hermaphrodite, starting life as females and later changing to males, though some individuals start life as males and do not change sex.

In the Jiangnan region of China, swamp eels are eaten as a delicacy, usually cooked as part of a stir-fry or casserole.

It is known as Kusia (কুচিয়া) in Assam and Bangladesh. It is considered a delicacy and cooked with curry as part of Assamese cuisine.

  1. ^ Richard van der Laan; William N. Eschmeyer & Ronald Fricke (2014). "Family-group names of Recent fishes". Zootaxa. 3882 (2): 001–230.
  2. ^ Robert A. Travers (1985). "A review of the Mastacembeloidei, a suborder of Synbranchoform teleost fish Part 2: Phylogenetic analysis". Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). 47: 83–151.
  3. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Synbranchus". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  4. ^ Perdices, A.; Doadrio, I.; Bermingham, E. (November 2005). "Evolutionary history of the synbranchid eels (Teleostei: Synbranchidae) in Central America and the Caribbean islands inferred from their molecular phylogeny". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 37 (2): 460–473. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.01.020. PMID 16223677.

Powered by 654 easy search