Sharptail Eel vs a Crab

The Sharptail Eel (Myrichthys Breviceps):


  • Native to areas such as Florida, the continental coasts of the Caribbean,  the Bahamas and Bermuda.  
  • Sized anywhere from 1-3 feet in length
  • Feeds on crabs
  • Hangs out at 5-40 feet in depth
  • Belongs to the "snake eel" family (Ophichthidae)

Hunting Behavior

Sharptail Eel

The Sharptail eel usually hunts during twilight to night, but can also sometimes be found during the day time as well.  The eel slithers across the bottom of the sea in sand, rubble and sea grass as it hunts for crabs hidden underneath the sand.  In the video, the eel hunts for quite a while and grabs an crab, but loses the meal. He continues to hunt until he finds the perfect crab and goes in for the kill.  The crab is stunned as it is hit and shaken by the eel and crushed inside its mouth.  The eel continues to crush the crab and eventually swallows the crab in its entirety.

Diving with Sharptail Eels

Divers often swim right over a Sharptail eel without noticing them.  The eels are very well camouflaged with their spots and coloring of gray, white, yellow, olive or brownish purple.  They are able to blend in very well among the rubble of the ocean floor.  For photography or videoing a Sharptail Eel, it is best to stay head of them, but not too close.  Chasing the eel never results well for either the photographer or the eel.  Eels in general have poor eyesight, but can sense your movements.