Photo of the week – Yellow Margin Moray Eel

Looking fearsome, but actually quite harmless, this weeks Photo of the Week is a Yellow-margin Moray Eel (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus) , also know as a Yellow-margined or Yellow-edged moray.

Found throughout the Indian and Pacific oceans, they live at depths down to 150 m, and can grow to a length of 240 cm. They are found along drop-offs in coral or rocky areas of reef flats and protected shorelines to seaward reefs.

Yellow-margin Moray Eel (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus)Yellow-margin Moray Eel (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus)

Their diet comprises of fishes, crustaceans, octopuses and squid.

Moray eels are generally very timid with bad eye-sight. The yellow-edged moray is especially sensitive to stimuli emanating from an injured or stressed fish.

Most injuries from moray eels are in the form of bites received while  people are trying to feed or pat them. The bite itself is painful and non-venomous, however with a lot of bacteria on their teeth, it can easily lead to serious infection.

I am not sure why, but moray eels are one of those subjects that seem to trick the camera focus and make it difficult to get a sharp focus on.

This photo is part of my Great Barrier Reef Images project, and was taken while diving on a brand new dive site called “Botanic” with Quicksilver’s Silversonic in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia. Botanic has a range of nudibranchs, some devil stingrays and many different types of coral in pristine condition.

Carl Chapman

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