Asian Swamp Eels: (AKA, rice eel, or "Terminator" eels)

by eric drewes
I first heard about the eels a few monthes ago, they were incredible.  they could breath in air and water, they could eat anything and live in any climate.  They could live for monthes without food, burried in mud.  I heard a story of one that was trapped in a wet towel in a boat for over 6 monthes, and when it was discovered, it was still alive.  The eels are invicible, insatiable, and multiplying.  You think this is a minor problem for mankind?  There are over 10,000 of these things living around the florida everglades already. They have no known predators.  They are coming.  You will see.  all shall cower under their might.


INVINCIBLE EEL INVASION - The July/August 1998 River Crossings reported Asian swamp eels are yet another exotic to North America where it has been found in a Florida swamp and small lakes near Atlanta, GA. The “Terminator” eel can
breathe air which enables it to move overland in search of new waterways, is resistant to fish toxicants used to control exotics,
and may spread as far north along the Atlantic Coast to Chesapeake Bay. Wayne Starnes of the North Carolina State Museum
of Natural Science said, “There’s no way to control them... except direct clubbing.”


                The eel doesn’t appear to be affected by most fish poisons. Biologists are prevented
                 from using stronger ones, such as cyanide, since the canals around the park are
                 linked up with a Florida aquifer.
                     It’s nearly impossible to hunt down the eels by hand and net since they’re mostly
                 nocturnal and can take quick shelter in crevices. Exploding dynamite in the water, a
                 technique that kills most fish by popping blood vessels in their air sacs, doesn’t work
                 with eels because they have no such organ. Draining ditches is no solution, either,
                 since the eels can survive in water and on land.
                      The Asian eel’s soap opera, so to speak, is its adaptability. The Asian import is
                equipped with both gills and lung-like organs to breathe. It can survive in marshes
                 and swamps, as well as in ponds, canals, roadside ditches and rice fields. If
                 conditions become dry, the eel simply slithers into mud or grass and can live there for
                 as long as seven months with no food.

also from
                 One reason is it’s a tenacious predator. To eat its prey, which Curnutt has
                 observed includes “almost anything” from frogs to small fish to shrimp to turtle eggs,
                 the eel uses its mouth as a vacuum cleaner and sucks in smaller creatures. Those
                 that it can’t suck in, it grabs with its teeth and spins quickly until they are torn in half
                 and can be ingested in smaller chunks.
                      “The concern is the space they take up as predators means they’re replacing
                 another native creature in the food chain,” says Paul Shafford, head of non-native fish
                 research at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “They change
                 the energy flow of the ecosystem.”
                  Florida’s warm, wet climate is known for accommodating outside species — 28
                 fish from Central America, Africa and Asia now thrive in its waters. Curnutt notes
                 almost none has managed to reach the deep interior of the Everglades park. Most
                 fish, he explains, get stuck in marsh land and expire before reaching the interior.
                      That’s where the Asian eel has a clear advantage.
                      “This eel can burrow in the mud and wait for months and then get going again,” he
                 says. “As an adaptable predator, it has the potential to colonize the whole system.”

   (John Curnutt, Research Ecologist, Biological
   Resources Division, U.S. Geological
   "It's a disgusting looking thing, actually."
   John Curnutt is a research ecologist...
   "It has no fins, it has almost no characteristics at all. It's like a big slimy worm with two
   tiny little eyes and kind of a v-shaped mouth."
and also
   "We're terribly afraid that if this thing does get into the Everglades marsh system -- it's
   10,000 square kilometers of marshes -- it'll be able to survive through that kind of pulsed
   hydroperiod that the Everglades is famous for. Whereas the other fish couldn't."
   There's no stopping a new predator
   I'm Kevin Pierce with the Florida Environment.
   There's a new predatory animal that has invaded Florida, and scientists are very
   concerned. Previously only found in Asia, the Asian Swamp Eel has now been found in
   Georgia and in three Florida locations. It is anticipated as a serious threat to Florida
   wildlife (John Curnutt, Research Ecologist, Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological
   "We haven't yet found a good way to stop them."
   John Curnutt is a research ecologist. He says one of the problems in controlling the
   invading eel is its lack of an air bladder that would let scientists manage it like they do
   "It can breathe air, so controls like Rotenone, which is always used to control fish
   populations, won't work on the eel because that effects their gills."
   And while some invading plants and animals can be managed naturally, the Asian Swamp
   Eel has no known predators, and is likely to thrive in the climate...
   "You know, a lot of tropical things in South Florida, they can't really persist in cold
   weather, and a frost would kill them off. This thing can go... well it's already in Georgia,
   and it lives pretty far north in China, so I suspect the climate won't be that much of a

from a US gov press release:
Swamp eels, which reach lengths of three feet or more, are predators, feeding on animals such as worms, insects, shrimp,
crayfish, other fishes and frogs. Yet, said Nico, the eels are also able to survive weeks -- and possibly months -- without food.
The eels are highly secretive, with most of their activities occurring at night. In the day, the fish hide in thick aquatic vegetation
or in small burrows and crevices along the water's edge. In many populations, all young are hatched as females. Then, after
spending part of their life as females, the eels transform into large males.


 The eel indulges an insatiable
 appetite for anything that crosses
 its path. It can clear streams and
 ponds of  fish, shrimp, frogs
 and insects. While it prefers
 tropical surroundings, it can
 survive very cold water
 temperatures. Researchers say it
 can do without food and water
 for months.
 It can breathe air as well as
 extract oxygen from water, and
 groups of as many as 50 have
 been known to slither along the
 ground for short distances
 between bodies of water. It
 seems to be impervious to the
 poisons used to clear water
 bodies of fish. Even dynamite
 won’t kill it.
 All this, and it’s a
 gender-bender, too. In the
 absence of a female, a male can
 reportedly transform its sex and
 produce young. Scientists can’t
 explain that.

in conclusion:
GaijinSenshi: i'm gonna make a webpage about them
mehakoi: I think the eels
mehakoi: definatly get a webpage
mehakoi: are you going to make it celebrating them
GaijinSenshi: of course
mehakoi: or from there prespective of eniment world domination?
GaijinSenshi: both
GaijinSenshi: :-)
mehakoi: i wouldn't mind the entire human race being destoryed by eels

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