Dragon Moray Eel Facts
- First of all, the amazing Dragon Moray Eel stands out for its incredibly colored body. In fact, this breathtaking animal remains one of the most colorful of all known species of eel.
- Many also consider one of the unique bodily features of the species to be a fascinating evolutionary development. This distinctive feature resembles a pair of horns of dragons of lore, hence the common name.
- The species also possesses a voracious appetite and tends to be extremely aggressive. Due to this combination, individuals will feed on virtually any creature that will fit in its mouth.
- Finally, this animal has the astounding ability to spontaneously change its gender. This occurs as a result of the lack of sufficient numbers of the opposite sex. Some hermaphrodites have even been found.
Dragon Moray Eel Physical Description
Firstly, scientists classify the Dragon Moray Eel as a medium-sized species of eel. This occurs because individuals attain an average length of just over 3 ft (1 m). In addition, the bodies develop as highly elongated, the same as other eels.
The brilliant colors of the species also represent its most noteworthy physical feature. In fact, each individual displays a combination of yellow, orange, red, black, and white markings along the length of its body.
Furthermore, each individual possesses a pair of highly elongated tubular nostrils on its head. It is these that many think resemble dragon horns. Finally, the over-sized mouth contains numerous razor-sharp teeth.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Anguilliformes
- Family: Muraenidae
- Genus: Enchelycore
- Species: E. pardalis
Dragon Moray Eel Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
To begin with, the brilliantly colored Dragon Moray Eel primarily inhabits the Indo-Pacific region. This also includes a range from Hawaii to Japan. Furthermore, it primarily inhabits regions of coral reefs and rock formations on shallow ocean bottoms.
Most studied specimens also typically live at very shallow depths ranging from 26-197 ft (8-60 m). Additionally, individuals and pairs alike usually prefer to inhabit a shallow den within the local surroundings.
Hunting for prey typically occurs at night. That’s because its natural coloring remains less obvious in the reduced lighting. This carnivore mainly preys on shrimp, fish, squid, or crab, but will also attack anything it feels it can consume.
While the Dragon Moray Eel often chooses to live in pairs, the species reproduces through spawning. This trait it shares with a great number of species in the various oceans of the world.