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Wolf Eel

Anarrhichthys ocellatus

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Although this fish may look like an eel, the similarities are superficial as true eels do not have fins. Rather the Wolf Eel is related to wolf fishes (Family Anarhichadidae), a group of bottom-dwelling carnivores which hunt crustaceans and fish. Their long, slender bodies are typically light to dark gray in color and covered with dark spots. They can reach a maximum length of 8 feet or 2.4 meters.

Despite its fearsome appearance, Wolf Eels are generally docile creatures. Males and females will mate for life and are attentive parents, jointly guarding their brood of eggs for up to sixteen weeks until they hatch. During this time, the parents will take turns hunting, using their powerful jaws to crush the hard shells of clams, snails and mussels.

Range and Habitat

Wolf Eels reside in caves, rocky outcrops, shipwrecks and crevices up to 740 feet (225 m) deep. The Wolf Eel’s range extends from Alaska to southern California.

Conservation Status

Common.