Ribbon Eels

© Johan Boshoff


Ribbon Eels (Muraenidae)

Others in Family

Leopard, Green, Starry, Black Cheek, Guinea fowl and Moray Eel


Ribbon eels can be as long as 3 m.

Ribbon Eel Identification

The body of the eels is flattened on both sides and very muscular. They have no pectoral fins or scales. The dorsal fin stretches from behind the head to the tail and anal fins. Their mouths are big with teeth pointing backwards. Juveniles are black in colour, males are bright yellow and blue, and females only yellow.

Ribbon Eel General Info

Ribbon eels belong to the Muraenidae family which comprises of 15 genera and 200 species. They are distinguished by their nostril located at the front of the head, breathing with an open mouth. Juveniles change sex from male to female as they mature, as well as colour from blue to yellow. They hide in sand and debris on the ocean surface and reproduce by spawning their eggs into the surrounding water.

Ribbon Eel Feeding

Ribbon eels feed on small fish.


They can be found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Common Species

Juvenile (black)
Rhinomuraea quaesita
Male (blue and yellow)
Rhinomuraea quaesita
Terminal male (yellow and black)
Rhinomuraea quaesita