Moray eel (muraena helena)
Complete list   <<  23 /  47   >>
Common name Moray eel
Scientific name Muraena helena
Class Osteichthyes
Order Anguilliformae
Family Murenidae
Distribution The Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from the British Isles to Senegal.
Habitat rocky coastal substrates with a lot of crevices and gorges close to the surface and up to depths of 80 metres.
Dimensions May exceed 130 cm in length.
Characteristicts Destitute of pectoral and ventral fins; tubular nostrils, small oval gills; marbled colourings.

The body is typically snakelike, robust and slightly flattened along the sides and particularly towards the tail. The head is short and stocky with a convex profile, has a well developed mouth with long sharp teeth, and an upper jaw longer than the lower. The nostrils are tubular and protruding. Destitute of pectoral and ventral fins, a long fin runs from the head along the back, round the tail to the vent. . The skin is smooth, without scales, and usually a light brown colour, speckled with dark brown and dark yellow.

The Moray eel is nocturnal and remains hidden during the day. They are carnivorous, eating crustaceans, snails, frogs, molluscs, insect larvae, and fish, which they find thanks to their excellent sense of smell. Reproduction takes place in the summer - the eggs are approx. 5mm in diameter. During the colder months this eel migrates to deeper waters.