Looks like a snake but its an eel

On some seagrass surveys you may spot amongst the Zostera capricorni something that looks like a snake but is it?

Halfband Snake Eel, Malvoliophis pinguis (Günther, 1872) of the family Ophichthyidae has the general appearance of a small sea snake but it is actually an eel. They hunt by hiding in the sediment with just the head exposed and detect prey by smell. This one is able to rapidly burrow, tail first in to the sediment. You can see in the photo the tip of the tail is already poking into the sand. A moment after the photo was taken, only the head remained visible.

Snake Eel (Nick Hoffmann)


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