Common Family Name
Others in the Family
Leopard, Green, Starry, Black cheek, Guinea fowl, Black blotched, Golden, Zebra
Up to 4 m
Body laterally compressed. Very muscular. Having a large mouth with sharp backwards-facing teeth. No scales. No pectoral fins. Dorsal fin starts behind the head and continues through the tail fin to anal fin. Colouration varies widely from white to black, often with spots.
Muraenidae family consists of 15 genera and 200 species. Usually found in rock crevices or under ledges. Hunts mostly at night. Possessing a very good sense of smell. They have pharyngeal jaws, which is a second set of jaws situated in the throat which helps with holding the prey and feeding it down the throat. Some species secrete toxic mucus from their skins. Moray eel bites can infect quickly because of the bacteria on their teeth. Pelagic spawners.
Feeds on crabs, shrimps, fish and octopus.
Occurs in all temperate and tropical oceans of the world.
Giant moray eel
Honeycomb moray eel
Geometric moray eel
© Johan Boshoff