Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unusual Marine SIghtings - Moray Eels

Lately we have been seeing a number of different moray eels on the dive sites around Baie Ternay. Often found with their heads extending from holes they can easily be approached by divers. There are a number of different species to be found in the waters surrounding the Seychelles and they come in a variety of colour and sizes.

Morays breathe by constantly opening and closing their mouths and pumping water over their gills. Unlike most fish they are completely scaleless and are instead covered in a protective mucous layer.

The Yellow-margin moray (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus) is a large eel that is frequently seen in Baie Ternay (above).

The Giant Moray (Gymnothorax javanicus) is one of the largest species growing to well over two metres in length. We have a particularly large Giant Moray (below) that has taken up residence amongst the granitic boulders at the Lighthouse dive site just outside the bay. He can often be seen swimming out in the open hunting for prey.

Many smaller species of moray eel are often found sharing a hole or crevice together, and in some cases different species can be found cohabiting as with the Geometric moray and Snowflake moray below.