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Why is a green moray green?

The dark green to brown color of a Green Moray comes from a yellowish mucous that covers its blue skin to provide protection from parasites and infectious bacteria. Additionally, they are often camouflaged to hide in the reef from unsuspecting prey. Camouflage often extends into the mouth of the Green moray which continually opens and closes slowly to move water over the gills for respiration, and to put the fear of god into divers as the large mouth features many pointed sharp teeth.

this page still under construction--bear with us while we get the Latin names in place...

Spotted Snake Eel
Ophichtus ophis

Saba is home to many varieties of eels such as this one from the snake eel family (Ophichtidae). As seen here, the spotted variety inhabits burrows in the sand with only its head protruding. At the same time they are capable of moving about underneath the sand, while at night you may see them moving about freely and fully exposed.  All the more reason to schedule a night dive while on Saba.  As you can see below, Saba has quite a variety of eels to spot.  

See right side bar for an eel we'd like to photograph

see right side bar for some facts

see left side bar for color explanation

see right side bar for question on location

From Our Travels...More Eels



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All images ©John Magor Photography and Sea Saba Dive Center or as otherwise noted.  No image to be used for any purpose or in any format without permission.  Quality prints on archive standard paper available $30-$50, size dependent.  High resolution digital images on a contract basis only.  Contact us for permission and procedures.

This page last updated on 04/22/2006

Did you know?

-Green Moray can grow up to 7 feet (2.1 meters) in length, and weigh in at 64 pounds!  (29 kilos) 

read more about Green Morays on our Creature Feature page.

One of these days, we hope to have our own photo of this eel to use on this site.  For now, we can only tell you stories.  It was probably about 1994 when Lynn came to the surface from a night dive at Tent Reef and announced "I'm sure I saw a blue eel!"  Well, it seemed a tall tale at the time since not only had no one else seen it, but it was not in any field guide.  About 3 years later, Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach came out with the present version of Fish Identification.  Finally official, the Many-toothed Blue Conger Eel has the rating of "rare".  Since that time, we have had about 5 spottings of the elusive creature.  They move fast so when you see it, we hope you have a camera!

The Giraffe Garden Eel photo was taken adjacent to Man O'War Shoals in the sand surrounding this pinnacle.  Garden eels are not considered great photo subjects by most.  Their boring lifestyle of living in a hole is mirrored by their dull color.s  However, this garden eel caught the eye of divers.  If you look in the very back section of Caribbean Fish Identification (Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach), our bible, these eels should be found in Brazilian waters!  

After taking an early retirement from Sprint Corporation, Jim Mendenhall wintered in Saba and worked for Saba Deep Dive Center.  Jim took great pride in cataloging the many creatures on Saba during this time when he also became our friend.  Now living on the big island of Hawaii, Jim runs a boat for daily excursions to Hawaii's dive sites while his wife teaches at a primary school.




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Windwardside, Saba
Netherlands Antilles
Dutch Caribbean


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