Snowflake Moray Eel (Echidna nebulosa) - Wiki
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[Photo] Snowflake Moray Eel, Echidna nebulosa. Source http://www.nps.gov/archive/npsa/NPSAfish/fish_pops/murean/eel02.htm Author NPS photo - Bryan Harry
The snowflake moray, Echidna nebulosa, is a moray eel of the family Muraenidae, found in the Indo-Pacific oceans from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Society Islands, north to southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, south to Lord Howe Island, and throughout Micronesia. Also found in the eastern Central Pacific from southern Baja California, Mexico, and from Costa Rica to northern Colombia, at depths of between 2 and 30 m. Its length is up to one m.
The snowflake moray is found between rocks and corals of intertidal reef flats, and also in shallow lagoon and seaward reefs. It feeds mainly on crustaceans.
Coloration is a white body with two rows of large dendritic black blotches, the black spots between blotches become irregularly linear with age. The eyes are yellow.
In the aquarium
The snowflake moray eel is a very commonly kept saltwater eel. They are very hardy and well-suited to aquarium life. Up to 36" in length (while 28" is more common in captivity), the snowflake moray eel requires an aquarium larger than 50 gallons with a tight-fitting lid, as these eels (and all eels, for that matter) are escape artists and can fit through surprisingly small holes in aquarium lids. They are carnivores, readily accepting just about any meaty foods, including krill, shrimp, silversides and octopus meat. Unless already acclimated to frozen foods, this animal will likely need to be fed with live ghost shrimp when first acquired. Weaning can be accomplished over time. The feeding of freshwater feeder fish (goldfish, rosy reds, etc) will likely cause liver disease if fed to the eel, so they must be avoided.
The snowflake moray eel is not safe to keep with shrimp, crabs or lobsters, since crustaceans are their natural diet. However, they are safe to keep with most other invertebrates, including coral, starfish, anemones and sea urchins. Very small fish may be consumed, so think twice before keeping a snowflake eel with small fish like damselfish. Compatible tankmates for the snowflake moray eel include other relatively large, aggressive fish, such as lionfish, tangs, triggerfish, wrasses, and possibly even other snowflake moray eels if they are both introduced to the tank at the same time.
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