News / Species Spotlight / Species Spotlight- Palenose Moray Eel (Echidna nocturna) (08/08/16)

Species Spotlight- Palenose Moray Eel (Echidna nocturna)

Species Spotlight- Palenose Moray Eel (Echidna nocturna)
Its hard not to love the Echidna morays. Unlike so many other eels out there, which can often be rather drab in appearance, this genus is usually quite beautifully patterned, whether its the zebra stripes of the Barred Moray (E. polyzona) or the white spots of the Skeletor Moray (E. xanthospilos) or the distinctive markings of the Snowflake Moray (E. nebulosa).

One of the less commonly seen members of this group, the Palenose Moray (E. nocturna) is a lovely little fish found only in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. With relatively little aquarium collection taking place in the region, only a small number of this species find their way into the home aquarium, but its definitely worth seeking one out. The distinctive qualities of this fish are its many fine white polka dots that run along the body, giving it a subtle beauty that any eel-ficionado is sure to admire.

Like others in this genus, E. nocturna feeds principally on small crabs in the wild, having specialized blunt teeth that work like molars to crush their crunchy crustacean prey. This generally means that there is little risk posed in mixing this moray with other fishes in captivity (though its never wise to let your eel go too long between feedings, lest hunger drive it to dine on something a bit fishier). Frozen krill or other larger shrimp are an ideal diet, though it is always important to find some variety to offer, such as live or frozen crabs, chopped fish and other seafood.

As with any eel, be sure to provide ample hiding spots for it to tuck itself in during the day. As a nocturnal creatureits scientific name is nocturna, after allyoull only see your Palenose Moray out and about with the lights off in the tank or during feeding time, but even with just its head poking out from its abode, moray eels are always a delight to observe.