Ribbon Eel

An adult male ribbon eel waits for prey

The long, slender, bright-colored male adult ribbon eel resembles an underwater ribbon, flowing to and fro with the current.

Ribbon eels, also known as Rhinomuraena quaesita, are part of the moray eel family and prefer hiding in reefs or in sandy bottoms, then darting out to catch fish or shrimp. They are rarely seen at full length as they tend to spend most of their time burrowing in the sand.

The ribbon eel’s unusual nostrils are used to sense approaching prey, and although its open mouth looks like it’s ready to pounce, this action is necessary for the eel to breathe.

Juvenile ribbon eels have yellow dorsal fins and black bodies. Females ribbon eels are yellow with a black anal fin. 

As the ribbon eel’s color changes, so does its sex. Eventually the males grow to become females. The female only lives for about a month, during which time, she will mate and lay eggs.

Ribbon eels live in the Indo-Pacific ocean and can grow to just over three feet.


Text source: Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence.

Other text reference: http://www.imagequest3d.com/pages/current/pictureoftheweek/ribboneel/
Photo credit: Michel Labrecque of PlongeeXL.

© Copyright Vince Capone 2013