Small mating eels in Saba

Images: 
P3290087a eels.jpg

I just returned from a dive trip and can't ID this pair of eels I managed to snap during a night dive on Saba.  They are only about 4 inches long.  At first I thought it was some kind of worms.  They were moving very rabidly, squiggling and wiggling about 8 feet off the bottom.  I snapped a quick photo and they immediately spewed a cloud of gamete around me, then shot off for the bottom and disappeared before I could take another shot.  The location was in a rocky area next to a ledge in about 45 feet of water.  It wasn't the right location for garden eels (no sand), and these are much smaller.

I looked through my book and DVD and couldn't find them.  Any eel experts out there?

Thanks,

Carol

eels

I would speculate that they are Brown Garden Eels or possibly Giraffe Garden Eels (which have been recorded in the area).

Mating Eels

Thanks, but I don't think these could be garden eels for several reasons.  Mature garden eels are over a foot long; the pair of eels I photographed were only about 4" long--too small to be mature garden eels.  This pair was spotted in a rocky area, not over sand were garden eels reside.  Also, according to the Georgia Aquarium web site, garden eels "rarely leave their burrow and even reproduce by leaning over to intertwine with an adjacent mate".

Not an eel expert

Carol,

These look very very much to me like Longfin Worm Eels. take a second look at the CD rom; Look at the size, reddish gill area, and over all transparency of the body. What do you think?

Worm Eels

It could be a longfin worm eel.  They all appear to have a reddish circle behind the eyes and the size is correct.  Mine were over a rocky bottom instead of sandy, but as the DVD says, not much is known about these guys.  If not the longfin worm eel, it is almost definitely some kind of worm eel.  I didn't even know to look under "worm eel" on the DVD.  Thanks.

Carol

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