Manatee Calf Rescue on April 2, 2009
Spawning Habitats: Spawns in summer; some reports indicate it is a bubble nest builder species, others say uses burrows for egg incubation; ripe female typically contains about 440 ready to spawn eggs; hermaphroditic-- all mature as females, and some of these females later become males; most populations have highly skewed sex ratio dominated by females.
Feeding Habits: Feeds primarily on small fishes, crayfish, grass shrimp, and worms; due to mouth width, the largest food a 30-inch swamp eel can eat is about the same as what a 9-inch largemouth bass can eat; due to mouth size, weak swimming attributes, and poor vision, swamp eels do not appear to be affecting native fish in canals.
Age and Growth:
Oldest believed to be about 10 yrs; largest collected by FWC was 33.7 inches long and 1.7 pounds.
Good, mild tasting meat; considered a delicacy in its native range.
Image Credit: FWC