Sporting a red-, orange-, yellow-, brown-, and white-spotted pattern with red- and-white nostrils that flare vertically and prominent, sharp teeth, this moray appears to be a miniature dragon when gaping at you from a rocky cave. While it is a good choice for larger setups, it is very rare and commands a steep price. The dragon moray is a piscivore that will definitely consume any fish the size of its head or smaller, so select tankmates with caution.
The dragon moray Enchelycore pardalis will consume any fish the size of its head or smaller, so
select tankmates with caution.
HORNED OR HONEYCOMB
MORAY MURAENA MELANOTIS
Maximum Size: 40 inches
Somewhat similar in pattern to the
dragon moray, the horned moray occurs in
a few color variations, from a black-and-white honeycomb pattern to an orange-,
brown-, and white-spotted pattern. The
honeycomb moray feeds mainly upon
crustaceans and is usually safe with all
but slow, small fish.
species that makes an excellent centerpiece
in the large marine aquarium. This is the
largest of the morays I recommend for the
home aquarium, so be prepared.
GOLDEN OR GOLDENTAIL MORAY
Maximum Size: 27 inches
The golden moray is an excellent
candidate for a marine aquarium because
of its relatively small adult size and
docile nature. The golden moray occurs
in several color variations, ranging from
a bright yellow and gold to a speckled
brown and gold. The golden moray will
consume crustaceans and possibly small
fish, so caution is advised when selecting
tankmates. The golden moray, along with
the snowflake moray, is an excellent first
eel for the less experienced aquarist.
Maximum Size: 36 inches
The dragon moray is a very rare
and unusual eel that is aptly named.
DWARF OR GOLDEN
Maximum Size: 10 inches
Here’s one more species. People often
ask if there isn’t a dwarf moray they
can keep in their aquarium that is
not big enough for any of these other
species. The answer is a cautious “yes,
there is.” Cautious because the fish,
the golden dwarf moray Gymnothorax
melatremus—which reaches a maximum
size of less than a foot!—is extremely
hard to find and expensive. Expect to
pay a minimum of about $400, and
perhaps much more, depending on size,
condition, and coloration. You could
easily buy 10 or more snowflake morays
for the price of one of these.
The honeycomb moray Muraena melanotis generally feeds upon crustaceans but is also not
above snatching a slow-moving fish.
While a great many moray eel species
are simply too large even to consider
keeping, these half dozen or so species will
all live long and healthy lives in the home
aquarium, provided that their few needs
are met adequately. I highly recommend
this unique group of fishes to anyone
looking for a large and attention-getting
fish for their display tank.
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