Starry Moray Eel – Snowflake Moray Eel
The Echidna Nebulosa of the family Muraenidae, also known as Snowflake or Starry Moray Eel, is distributed in south of Hawaii going to Australia, westward all the way through the islands of the Indo-Pacific to East India, and through the Indian Ocean to the African coast. This creature is found in providing many hiding spots and a good amount of space to move around.
The eel, as its name imply, have yellow starry spots all around its black body. It can grow up to a maximum length of 100 centimeters approximately, but averages only on 60 to 70 cm. They are nocturnal predators, eating at night, feeding mainly on small crustaceans, that even with their poor eyesight, their sense of smell is so keen that they are able to track any prey around them at the bottom parts of the sea, which is around 1 to 48 meters deep. They are semi-aggressive in nature, but can share habitat with another eel as long as they are nearly same in size, since the larger one may eat the smaller one, resulting to cannibalism. They also commonly go into hibernation, hiding below the rocks for weeks and not eating anything during that period.
The starry moray eel doesn’t have teeth, but will bite if it mistakes a finger as food or small fish. They became known in the fish trade for their beautiful color and semi-aggressive nature, allowing them to breed together with other large fishes. They are non-poisonous, but are very sneaky, getting out of the tank from time to time, but their chances of survival out of the water for hours is, as the records show, high enough.
The starry moray eel can often be seen hunting in shallow sea-grass areas close to coral and rock formations, where it is easy to spot for scuba diver.