Creature Feature: ribbon eel

It’s not easy being blue, but how about being black or yellow too?

A male ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) in South Miniloc. Photo by Rommel Suan

The ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) is a moray found in lagoon and seaward reefs. You can easily identify it based on its front nostrils that have enlarged, fan-like ends. The ribbon eel usually hangs out in a burrow hidden in sand and rubble with only its head poking out, occasionally darting out to feed on shrimp and fish.

The ribbon eel is the only moray that changes sex and color within its lifetime. It is a protandrous hermaphrodite, meaning it is born male but may change sex later on to become female. Juveniles are all black, males are blue with yellow fins and nostrils, while females are almost all yellow.

Be sure to keep a lookout for this interesting fish when you go diving in South Miniloc!

Ribbon moray Rhinomuraena quaesita Garman, 1888


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