Definition of garden eel in US English:

garden eel


  • An eel of warm seas that lives in a burrow from which its head and foreparts protrude, enabling it to catch passing food. Garden eels tend to live in communities and the name derives from the resemblance of the protruding heads of a group of eels to plants growing in a garden.

    Several genera and species, family Congridae

    • ‘A few metres away, one finds strange-looking garden eels, with their curious snouts sticking out of the sand.’
    • ‘Having played with the big shoals of fish for a while, I explore the rubble at the base of the reef, finding pairs of dartfish, garden eels, a blue-spotted stingray and a mantis shrimp which scuttles into its burrow.’
    • ‘Other tanks in the exhibition will house a variety of eels, from razor-toother morays to a colony of distinctive garden eels, which anchor themselves in burrows with the tops of their tails and stand vertically like strands of seaweed.’
    • ‘Sand divers and garden eels, still feeding in the early evening on suspended plankton, plunged into the sand as our bright lights illuminated the darkening water.’
    • ‘Under the bow at 25m we found a field of garden eels.’