Sharptail Eel (Myrichthys breviceps)

Also known as Snake Eels and Sharptail Snake Eel


Also known as Snake Eels and Sharptail Snake Eel.

Found singly over seagrass areas and rocky rubble reefs, usually hiding during the day but occasionally emerges to feed both day and night.
They feed on fish and invertebrates.
Length - 1m
Depth - 1-15m
Widespread Western Atlantic & Caribbean

Snake Eels resemble snakes or worms because they have virtually no fins. Their pointed snouts and tails allow them to burrow beneath the sand.
They can usually be found with just their head showing above the sand waiting for their prey, a few species prowl around the sands at night. Some mimic banded sea snakes and can be found in the open during the day.


  1. Posted by Bob Windows
    May 07, 2017 at 04:49 am - 1 person found this useful.

    I saw a green sharp tail eel with white spots today 5/6/17 at Jumby Bay off the coast of Antigua. I swore it was a snake until I read this article. It was about 3 feet long. It was swimming in the sea grass just off shore not far from the rocks.

  2. Posted by Bill Robb
    April 16, 2016 at 08:20 am - 1 person found this useful.

    Saw a sharp tail and a spotted moray eel Friday April 15 2016 in front of of the Riu antillas resort in Aruba ( NW side of the island ). The sharp tail was about 45cm long and the moray 75 cm. in a depth about 1.5 meters of water.

  3. Posted by Julie Pearce
    March 21, 2016 at 08:15 am - 1 person found this useful.

    Friend and I saw 24 inch sharptail eel hunting in coral at depth of 10 feet Montego Bay , March 2016 .

  4. Posted by Rich main
    March 07, 2016 at 17:38 pm - 1 person found this useful.

    Saw one of these while snorkeling in Worth Inlet, Fl in about 10' of water

  5. Posted by Len Talaga
    November 09, 2015 at 10:29 am - 1 person found this useful.

    I saw one of these on two consecutive mornings while snorkelling in shallow lagoons in Fuerteventura on 8th and 9th November. Possibly the same one, but I'm fairly certain the second one was longer at aproximately 1.2metres where I'd considered the first one to be aprox. 1metre. Neither of them seemed concerned at my presence. Managed to capture some stills and video on the second occasion.

  6. Posted by Katherine Knight
    July 29, 2015 at 06:02 am - 1 person found this useful.

    I saw one in three feet of water on Palomino Island off the coast of Puerto Rico. I burrowed into the sand quickly. Sadly, life guard thought it was a sea snake- although my further investigation shows there are no sea snakes in the region. Thanks for helping me ID it!

  7. Posted by Perry M
    April 10, 2015 at 10:05 am - 1 person found this useful.

    I saw the sharp tail eel today at around 3:00pm at Cozumel palace reef around 20' depth, it was a about 3' feet long they move like a snake. This was my 1st time to see on had to search the name and I saw this site.

  8. Posted by ken from London UK
    March 03, 2015 at 06:02 am - 1 person found this useful.

    saw one around 13:00 hours snorkelling of Indian beach St Vincent today 3.3.2015 about 5 feet long in 10 foot deep water, never seen one like this before, thought it was a snake at first. It was feeding between rocks. - Last saw a sea snake off Rarotonga, Cook Islands in 2 inches of water, after I had been paddling right next to it. Was also bitten by Green Moray in Barbados so nervous around these types of animals now.

  9. Posted by Fay
    December 30, 2014 at 01:06 am - 1 person found this useful.

    Saw a sharptail eel at Las Olas beach cruising the shoreline about 2 pm on December 7 He was about 24 inches long

  10. Posted by Martin Blackwell
    December 21, 2014 at 08:58 am - 1 person found this useful.

    On a dive in Cozumel we went down at 3:30 pm and came up 5:00 pm the depth was 15- 20 feet. we counted 6 Sharp tailed eels 12 to 18 inches in length, along with Lobsters, Hermit Crabs, Puffer Fish and a Flying Gurnard.

  11. Posted by David Rose
    November 10, 2014 at 06:57 am - 1 person found this useful.

    Saw a metre long sharp tail eel in about 5' water in Carlisle Bay, Barbados near the Radisson Hotel. This was at 11.30 am when it was resting on some rocks.

  12. Posted by Tonia
    November 03, 2014 at 08:09 am - 1 person found this useful.

    While swimming @ Connoly Club west coast Barbados , saw a sharptail eel very close to shore !

  13. Posted by Pam
    September 25, 2014 at 11:18 am - 1 person found this useful.

    Saw a sharptail eel today in Aruba about 10:00 am. It was about 12" long. On the northwest coast at about ten feet.

  14. Posted by Andy Ernsting
    August 23, 2014 at 04:56 am - 1 person found this useful.

    Snorkeling under the dock at Rum Point on Grand Cayman we observed and follow a 2 ft sharptail and then followed it through the sea grass for 3-5 minutes.

  15. Posted by Jeffrey
    March 13, 2014 at 11:40 am - 1 person found this useful.

    3/12/2014 Diving Davis Bay St Croix observed 3ft sharptail eel daylight completely in open coral at 35ft Followed for several minute before it completely dissapeared into hole

  16. Posted by Richard Boudier
    August 24, 2013 at 06:54 am - 1 person found this useful.

    We spotted a sharptail eel whilst snorkeling in around 12 feet of water at Saint Eustatius. Around three feet long and an inch in diameter at its biggest girth, it was swimming in between stones near a natural reef by the harbour area. Time of day around 1500 hrs.

  17. Posted by Kathleen Bodden-Harris
    August 19, 2013 at 21:44 pm - 1 person found this useful.

    In Cayman Brac, we have a very large sea pool cut out of the ironshore on the NW coast of the island. In recent months, 3 Pointed Tail Eels have been observed frequently along the coral rubble bottom. 1 resident observer stated they have been known to inhabit the area for almost 2 years. 2 are about 18-20" in length & been seen hunting together. Another seen 17 Aug 2013 was much larger, aprox 30" long. The dorsal fin when lifted up has an iridescent white line at its crest.

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