Blind Cave Eel Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a blind cave eel?
The blind cave eel (Ophisternon candidum, Mees 1992) is a fish and worm-like creature that has not been identified as a specific animal just yet, but it belongs to the Animalia kingdom.
What class of animal does a blind cave eel belong to?
The blind cave eel (Ophisternon candidum) in the family Synbranchidae belongs to the Actinopterygii class.
How many blind cave eels are there in the world?
The accurate population size of this freshwater species is unknown. Since they are rare and endemic to Australia, their population size is limited.
Where does a blind cave eel live?
These creatures currently are found only in north-western Australia. The curator of fishes at the Western Australian Museum stated that for 60 years this species was only known to exist in one location the Cape Range in Peninsula. They have since been discovered in several other locations nearby.
What is a blind cave eel's habitat?
This creature lives in the subterranean caves found in Western Australia. These caves have some rare habitat conditions and the environment is unlike any other habitat of an animal. Since the caves lead to open ocean, they are often filled with salty water from the sea that arranges itself into layers, and this salty brackish water underlies the freshwater at the top. These worm-like beings inhabit the thin layer of freshwater formed that exists in the coastal regions of the cave system.
Who do blind cave eels live with?
These creatures are solitary and live alone and are rarely spotted in pairs, and never in groups.
How long does a blind cave eel live?
The life span of this species is unknown.
How do they reproduce?
The blind cave eel (Ophisternon candidum) in the family Synbranchidae reproduces via sexual reproduction and follows the gametic life cycle. It was classified as a member of the Animalia kingdom. The process of reproduction among these creatures is standard or similar to other animals that follow the gametic life cycle. The creatures begin their journey as newly formed gametes called haploid, which is the result of the male and female species undergoing gametic meiosis. Females lay their eggs inside shallow water pockets, followed by males releasing their semen.
They follow the conventional life cycle like every other animal. These eels migrate to their spawning or breeding grounds a short while before the season begins. This seems perfectly common as most animals migrate temporarily for the same, but migration among eels is a necessary step for immature larvae to reach sexual maturity. If they don't migrate, these creatures do not reach sexual maturity. Their clutch size is unknown but they produce only a handful of eggs in their lifetime.
What is their conservation status?
It is listed as Vulnerable under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The IUNC Red List of Threatened Species has classified them as an Endangered species. The populations are highly affected by any changes made in their environment-restricted habitat such as rising sea levels.
Blind Cave Eel Fun Facts
What do blind cave eels look like?
The blind cave eel is a unique animal that is recognized not by its morphological or physical features but by the number of features absent. These creatures lack the most simple and basic features that are present among every living organism. They have no eyes, ears, scales, or limbs. Even though they are often referred to as animals or fishes, they look nothing like either of them. They have long elongated, worm-like bodies that carry the primary function of digging burrows into the soil, soft sediments in the walls of the caves, wells, and sinkholes. Burrowing also serves as a method for foraging and searching for food.
How cute are they?
These creatures are not cute at all. They look quite scary as they lack the most common and basic morphological features.
How do they communicate?
Very little is known about how they communicate since they lack basic features like eyes and limbs. However, they use their nerves and pores present on the skin to be aware of their surroundings, prey movement, and an approaching predator.
How big is a blind cave eel?
It is the longest known cavefish as it reaches a length of 16 in (40 cm). A common garter snake is nearly one and a half times bigger than a blind cave eel.
How fast can a blind cave eel swim?
The speed rate of this eel-like species is unknown, but they slither into their burrows and move on the surface just like snakes and worms.
How much does a blind cave eel weigh?
Researches at the Western Australian Museum have not finished researching this species, so data about their weight is unavailable.
What are the male and female names of the species?
This species does not have sex-specific names for its members and are simply called males and females.
What would you call a baby blind cave eel?
A baby blind cave eel is called a larva.
What do they eat?
Due to their habitat, little is known about the biology of this species. They feed opportunistically upon small invertebrates and insects found in freshwater bodies such as crustaceans, shrimp, larvae, woodlice, and other aquatic and terrestrial species that have fallen into the water.
Snakes often wander off into their habitats to prey on these eels.
Are they aggressive?
Details about their behavior are unknown, but due to their size and delicate body, this species tends to be more shy and easy to scare rather than aggressive.
Would they make a good pet?
No! Since the species is Endangered we do not recommend them as pets.
Did you know...
Scientists and researchers from the Western Australian Museum have identified two new populations of the blind cave eel. They were found in two new locations near the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia.
How did the blind cave eel get its name?
The species got its name due to the lack of morphological features, including eyes!
How has the blind cave eel adapted?
The blind cave eel posseses several blood vessels and nerves close to its skin and tiny pores. These act as sensory organs to help navigate and understand its surroundings to avoid bumping into cave walls and detect any movement made by its prey or predators.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our Mekong giant catfish facts or smalltooth saw fish facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in our free printable blind cave eel coloring pages.