Dominica Eel-Like Fish

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We found this fish living in the sand with only it's eyes exposed. When we got it to come out, it was less than 12 inches in length and had long dorsal and anal fins running almost the length of its body. It was able to back itself down into the sand using its tail. We thought it could be related to a tilefish, but does not have the same behavior with swimming above its hole and then going back into the hole when frightened. Using the usual methods, we have not been able to identify this fish, so any help would be appreciated.

Hmmm

DISREGARD; PLEASE SEE FOLLOWING POST. I think it is an Eel of some kind. After looking through the eels that i have pics of, I can't decide on one. But those large eyes to head proportion look very much like garden eels (though I don't think you saw a colony of them). I can't tell between pics 2 and 3 if the upper jaw or lower jaw sticks out a bit more, maybe it is the little known longfin worm eel. Maybe it's a young eel and the head shape and coloration is not quite there yet?

Never mind

I think I found a positive ID. I'll say you found a Margintail Conger (Eel) Paraconger caudilimbatus. Head/eyes shape and size, coloration, behaviour all match.

Thank You!

Thanks livi120! This is just one of the WOWs that we found on our recent trip to Dominica (the other WOW was a longarm octopus).

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