Conger Eel (Conger Conger)

Latin name: Conger conger
Common name: Conger eel
In other languages: E: Congrio común, F: Congre d'Europe, D: Congeraal
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Congridae
Genus: Conger

Behaviour: Predatory and crepusculary. Beware divers: When the lair of a conger is first approached, the conger shows its head, then withdraws. If the diver remains (and they do), it will move forward with its mouth open, a kind of 'go away or else' gesture. If the diver persists, there is only one person to blame, the diver. If you are not convinced and you do not dive, try sticking your head in a strange doberman's kennel, the result is the same!

Habitat: A benthic species found in all waters on the continental plateau from surface waters down to 100 metres and possibly deeper. At home at rocky coasts and sandy ground under stones, or on muddy ground of the offshore waters of the Mediterranean.

Diet: Crustaceans, fish.

Shape: Body cylindrical in section, gradually tapering to tip of tail; no scales; large subhorizental mouth with large outer teeth, dorsal fin arises over the tip of pectoral fin; upper jaw longer than lower.

Size: Common: 60-150cm, maximum size: 300cm.

Colour: Grey brown or darker and golden or whitish belly.

Mythology, phrase & fable: 'A salt eel' is the name of an old whip-end which was made out of eel skin. The phrase 'eel-skins' is an old slang word for very tight garments.