oa African Zoology - Ophichthid eels in the coelom of several Natal offshore reef fish

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Mummified ophichthid eels are reported from the coeloms of several Natal continental shelf reef fish species. Originally mistaken to be parasitic, these eels are in fact free-living and are eaten by fish. Once ingested, they bore their way out of the stomach, using their pointed tails and become encapsulated in connective tissue within the coelomic cavity.

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