Ribbon eel

Ribbon eel

name = Ribbon eel

image_width = 250px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Actinopterygii
ordo = Anguilliformes
familia = Muraenidae
genus = "Rhinomuraena"
species = "R. quaesita"

binomial = "Rhinomuraena quaesita"
binomial_authority = (Garman, 1888)
synonyms = "Rhinomuraena amboinensis"

The ribbon eel, "Rhinomuraena quaesita", is a species of saltwater eels, the only member of the genus Rhinomuraena of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family of order Anguilliformes. What is now known as "Rhinomuraena quaesita" also includes the former "Rhinomuraena amboinensis". "R. quaesita" was used for blue ribbon eels and "R. amboinensis" for black ribbon eels, but these are now recognized as the same species. The ribbon eel is native to the Indian and Pacific oceans.

The ribbon eel is an elegant creature with a long, thin body and high dorsal fins. The ribbon eel can easily be recognised by its expanded anterior nostrils. Juveniles and sub-adults are jet black with a yellow dorsal fin, while females are yellow with a black anal fin with white margins on the fins. The adult male are blue with a yellow dorsal fin.

The ribbon eel grows to an overall length of approximately 100 cm (36 in), and has a life span of up to twenty years. The ribbon eel is the only moray eel that is not gonochoristic.


Like many eels, the ribbon eel is sometimes thought to be angry or aggressive, because its mouth is often open, appearing ready to strike. In reality, the eel is simply breathing.

In the wild, the ribbon eel buries itself in sand or hides in rocks or reefs, dashing out to feed on small fishes. The ribbon eel is known as one of the most sociable and peaceful of all moray eels, and does not bother humans or get easily irritated. As the eel grows and gets older, it changes sex from a male to a female. The ribbon eel also changes its colour from blue to yellow when it becomes fully mature (& female).

In the aquarium

Because most ribbon eels do not live longer than a month in captivity, some feel that this species should never be purchased. Ribbon eels have been observed in nearly every case to stop eating after being captured. Although there are reports of ribbon eels surviving and eating in captivity for 2 years or more. But most don't survive over a month.
With proper sized tanks, water flow, and depth of proper sand they can be kept for much longer in pairs.



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