The European conger, Conger conger, is a conger of the family Congridae.
- Anguilla conger (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Anguilla obtusa Swainson, 1839
- Conger communis Costa, 1844
- Conger niger (Risso, 1810)
- Conger rubescens Ranzani, 1840
- Conger verus Risso, 1827
- Conger vulgaris Yarrell, 1832
- Leptocephalus candidissimus Costa, 1832
- Leptocephalus conger (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Leptocephalus gussoni Cocco, 1829
- Leptocephalus inaequalis Facciolà, 1883
- Leptocephalus lineatus Bonnaterre, 1788
- Leptocephalus morrisii Gmelin, 1789
- Leptocephalus pellucidus (Couch, 1832)
- Leptocephalus spallanzani Risso, 1810
- Leptocephalus stenops Kaup, 1856
- Leptocephalus vitreus Kölliker, 1853
- Muraena conger Linnaeus, 1758
- Muraena nigra Risso, 1810
- Ophidium pellucidum Couch, 1832
- Ophisoma obtusa (Swainson, 1839)
Description and behavior
European congers have a common length of 150 cm (59 in), a maximum length of 3 m (9.8 ft), and weigh up to 110 kg (240 lb), making them the largest eels in the world.
The body is very long, anguilliform, without scales. The color is usually gray but can also be blackish. The belly is white. A row of white small spots is aligned along the lateral line. The head is almost conical, slightly depressed. The snout is rounded and prominent, with lateral olfactory holes. The large gill openings are in lateral position. The conical teeth are arranged in rows on jaws. The dorsal and anal fins are confluent with caudal. Pectoral fins are present, while ventral fins are absent.
The conger eels have habits similar to moray eels. They usually live amongst rocks in holes, or "eel pits", sometimes in one hole together with moray eels. They come out from their holes at night to hunt. This nocturnal predator mainly feeds on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. These fishes have a long larval stage and reproduce only once in their life, at an age of 5-15 years. Female producee about 3-8 million of eggs.
This species can be found in the eastern Atlantic from Norway and Iceland to Senegal, and also in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Conger conger ranges from 0-500 m of depth. It is sometimes seen in very shallow water by the shore, but can also go down to depths of 1,170 m (3,840 ft). It is usually present on rocky and sandy bottoms, close to the coast when young, moving to deeper waters when adult.