The Crocodile Snake Eel

The Crocodile snake eel (Brachysomophis crocodilinus, also known as the Henshaw's snake eel or the Reptilian snake eel), is an eel in the family Ophichthidae.

The Crocodile Snake Eel, Brachysomophis crocodilinu, is usually found singly, buried in the sand or rubble near coral reefs, seen with just its head showing. It is rarely out in the open during the day. They remain buried in the sand with only their snouts and eyes protruding, waiting to ambush their prey.

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They feed on small fish and invertebrates. Most often found in depths to 20 meters. They grow to a length of 85 centimeter or approximately 2 and a half feet. They resemble snakes because they have virtually no fins. They are widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Their pointed snouts and tails allow them to burrow beneath the sand, giving the impression that they can actually swim through the sand. To capture images of this interesting animal, stay as low as possible and approach them very slowly. If startled, they will simply retract into the sand and disappear from view.

 By Steve Rosenberg for ReefID.org