Three Great Morays

By Richard Aspinall 2 years ago
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Divers tend to be great fans of moray eels, and we spend a lot of time pointing at them and indicating to our buddies with the well-known “moray” hand gesture, which resemble a set of jaws snapping shut, that would probably serve for ‘ostrich’ and ‘naked sock puppet’ as well.  Most divers are obsessed with the big ones; the Giant (Gymnothorax javanicus) at over two meters is certainly impressive, but I really like the smaller, more delicately-marked species.  The best is G. griseus, the Grey Moray.peppered-morayG. griseus is also known as the Geometric Moray, though some sources refer to the Grey Moray as G. pictus.  So confusion can occur. I’m talking about the sixty-centimeter or so light grey fish with black spots on its snout and head. 

G. javanicus. this fish is truly huge

G. javanicus. this fish is truly huge

 While the fish are found in depths up to thirty meters, they are also quite common in the shallows and can on occasion be seen hunting in tidal regions where the water may be only a few inches deep.  This no doubt causes some folks to think they’ve seen a sea snake. 
Callechelys marmorata, the Marbled Snake Eel. another fish that causes sea snake 'false alarms'.

Callechelys marmorata, the Marbled Snake Eel. another fish that causes sea snake ‘false alarms’.

 I find Morays quite confusing to ID without a decent photo, but out of the 120 or so species,the one pictured below is pretty easy to spot. 
Yellowhead Moray (G. ruppelliae) . At least this one is easy to ID.

Yellowhead Moray (G. ruppelliae) . At least this one is easy to ID.

Categories:
  Fish, Photography
About

 Richard Aspinall

  (309 articles)

Richard lives in Scotland where he works as a freelance writer and photographer. Richard writes for several magazines on topics as diverse as scuba diving, travel and wildlife.

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