Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Dragon Sensory Hours: The dragons will be asleep from 2 to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Splendid Garden Eel

Gorgasia preclara

The splendid garden eel is native to the tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific area and can grow up to 16 inches in length. They spend most of their time in their burrows in the sand and will pull their heads in if a predator is nearby.

Range & Habitat

In the Wild: Maldives to New Guinea; north to the Ryukyus; south to the Philippines to the Coral Sea.

At the Zoo: Aquariums

Conservation Status: Least Concern


In the Wild: Drifting plankton and other microorganisms that travel with the current.

At the Zoo: Microorganisms like brine shrimp, mysis, cyclops, daphnia and live artemia

Life Span

In the Wild / In Human Care – 35-40 years (although there is not a lot of data on this).

Fun Facts about the Splendid Garden Eel

  • They are also known as the Orange barred Garden Eel.
  • Live in colonies that can consist of thousands of individuals.
  • Can easily be disturbed and will retract into its burrow.
  • Diet consists of zooplankton it picks from the current as it flows past. For this reason, all the eels in a colony generally face the same direction: into the current.


Tropical Diver, Splendid Garden Eel. Retrieved 10/21/18. aquarium/home/galleries/tropical-diver/gallery-animals/splendid-garden-eel

Fish Base, Gorgasia-preclara. Retrieved 10/21/18:

Updated June 13, 2023
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