The Ribbon Eel
The Ribbon Eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita, also called Bernis eel, is another favaorite of our guests, it is only specie of genus Rhinomuraena of Muraenidae family. It is the combination of the former Rhinomuraena ambionensis (black ribbon eels) and Rhinomuraena quaesita (blue ribbon eels), which is now recognized as a single species. The ribbon eels can be found in the Pacific and Indian oceans. In wild, they like to bury themselves in sand or hides in spaces between reefs or rocks, dashing for prey, be it small fish or shrimp, if one crosses its sight.
The ribbon eel grows up to around 36 inches, approximately 100 centimeters, and can live up to 20 years. This creature is the only specie in the Muraenidae family that is classified to be protandric, or having male sexual organs when young and later develops female sexual organs, literally changing its sexes. Its color also varies with its age and sex, younger male ones are colored black turning blue over the years as it grows, but its dorsal fins remain yellow in color. The female ones have yellow body and a black anal fin with margins of white on the fins. The creature can easily be recognized by its anterior nostrils being greatly expanded.
The ribbon eel is a magnificent creature with long, thin body and dorsal fins. Like most of the eels, the ribbon eel is sometimes mistaken to be aggressive or angry because of its habit of opening its mouth, appearing like its ready to strike. But in reality, the creature is just breathing.
We find Ribbon Eels in Apo Island and Siquijor in a depth suitable for Open Water Diver.