It is an anadromous species and spawns in freshwater, often in rice paddies during the rainy season, earning it its common name. It also spends time in lagoons, estuaries and coastal rivers, in which it lives in burrows in the river bottom and bank. Males can reach a maximum total length of 100 centimetres, but more commonly reach a TL of 70 cm.
The Rice-paddy eel is of minor commercial interest to fisheries; it is caught in bag nets and marketed fresh. Its diet consists of bony fish and crabs such as Uca annulipes; as a nocturnal creature it forages actively during the night.