Yellow Moray Eel (Gymnothorax prasinus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Yellow Moray Eel (Gymnothorax prasinus). Photo by Ian Skipworth
The yellow moray, Gymnothorax prasinus, is a moray eel of the genus Gymnothorax, found in southern Australia and between North Cape and the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island of New Zealand at depths down to 50 m, in reef areas of broken rock. Their length is between 80 and 150 cm.
The yellow moray is a very elongate scaleless fish with a large mouth full of prominent backward facing teeth, hinged so that they can fold back but lock when prey tries to struggle free. Its colour ranges from dull gold to a bright fluorescent orange or orange-green, the fluorescence being a property of the slime covering on the eel's body making them stand out vividly against any background.
It lives in rocky reef areas, spending most of its time with its head emerging from its cave or crevice, mouth agape. The open-mouthed stance is not aggression - morays need to continuously draw water through their small gills. They are active mostly at night but will move about occasionally during the day if food is detected. Their diet is made up of crabs, sea urchins, and small fish such as blennies and scorpionfish.
When hooked, morays fight energetically, even tying themselves in knots and it is often impossible to remove the hook.
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