Meet one of our marine local resident, our elusive Honeycomb Moray Eel.

By Guest Writer

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Pisces Diving Sodwana Bay

The honeycomb moray eel, also known as the tessellated moray eel, is a fascinating species found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean. The Honeycomb Moral Eel is the black spotted individual in the above picture. Here‘s some information about them:

  1. Appearance: Honeycomb moray eels have a distinctive appearance characterized by their intricate pattern of honeycomb-like markings on their skin, hence their name. They typically have a yellowish or brownish base color with dark spots forming the honeycomb pattern. Their bodies are elongated and snake-like, and they lack pectoral and pelvic fins, which gives them a streamlined appearance.

  2. Habitat: These eels inhabit coral reefs, rocky crevices, and other sheltered areas in shallow coastal waters. They are nocturnal creatures, spending much of the day hiding in their dens and venturing out at night to hunt for food.

  3. Diet: Honeycomb moray eels are carnivorous predators, feeding primarily on small fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. They have sharp teeth and a powerful bite, which they use to capture their prey.

  4. Behavior: Like other moray eel species, honeycomb morays are solitary and territorial. They are also known for their ability to open and close their mouths in a rhythmic fashion, which helps them breathe by drawing water over their gills, allowing them to remain stationary while hunting.

  5. Reproduction: These eels reproduce through spawning, where males and females release their eggs and sperm into the water column. The fertilized eggs develop into larvae, which eventually settle onto the seafloor and grow into juvenile eels.

  6. Conservation: While honeycomb moray eels are not specifically targeted by fisheries, they may be caught incidentally in fishing gear. Additionally, habitat destruction and pollution pose threats to their populations. Conservation efforts focused on protecting coral reef habitats and reducing human impacts on marine ecosystems are important for the conservation of this species.

Photo Credit: Padi Instructor Anna

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