Fill Yourself In with Information about Moray Eel Bite

The moray eel is one of the nocturnal sea creatures that features big eyes and a fearsome mouth. It is classified to the fish family. When sense danger, it will lead to a moray eel bite which is a non-toxic yet powerful bite that might cause severe injuries and infections to the victims.

The name of this snakelike bony fish is derived from muraina. The ancient word in Greek means “eel”. Then, it becomes murena in Latin words. There is no more fundamental change of moray from the English words.

Moray eels include family Muraenidae that have bright colors. Lots of moray species are found in warm water. This free-swimming fish prefers shoal areas around a chain of corals at the surface of the water.

The fish’s long and thin body is almost similar to snakes. The aggressive behavior can cause a painful moray eel bite. Its self-protection happens when other animals or humans come to attack.

Also, the moray eel bite happens when they feel danger. Are moral eels aggressive? These vicious sea animals will attack humans when they are hungry.

Learn more about freshwater moray eel bite, habitat, lifespan, reproduction system, and other information from the following article.

General Description of Moray Eel

Physical Appearance of Moray Eels

Physical Appearance of Moray Eels
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Moray eel has a whole range of physical appearance as they come in hundreds of species. Their colors consist of blue, green, white, yellow, brown, and black that pair with various patterns. The body has freckles, stripes, spots, and mottles.

Moray eel size can be shorter than a 30 cm ruler. Besides, the biggest species can be larger than the tallest human in the world. They vary in diversity but having several similar shapes.

The eels have a flat thin part on the back called the dorsal fin. The appearance has a mottled dull green color like a serpent. It is due to a dearth of the pelvic and pectoral external membrane.

Moreover, a moray eel jaw becomes the disparate structure. The fish features a large mouth and two sets of jaws with sharp teeth. The jaws function as organs for capturing and eating the prey.

The Most Remarkable Species of Moray Eels

various shapes and size moray eel
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Two hundred species with various shapes and sizes exist in different habitats. Some of them are found in brackish water and saltwater. Other creatures with moray eel bite also dwell in freshwater.

Laced moray eels

Laced moray eels
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This moray eel has tan and white hues with black spots on the whole body. Therefore, it is also called leopard or honeycomb fish.

Leopard morays belong to Gymnothorax favagineus that show their camouflage in the surrounding.

The black spots become fewer when they dwell in a less coral environment. Thus, the more honeycombs stay in more corals, the more those dark dots will be.

Ribbon Moray Eels

Ribbon Moray Eels
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Rhinomuraena quaesita uses the yellow jaws as biting organs. Its appearance looks like a dragon with tall dorsal fins. It comes with a bright blue color. The fish with a colorful body has both female and male reproduction systems.

The female fish comes in yellow shade, while the male is black or blue colors. It is also known as leaf-nosed eels that can grow up to 1,3 meters in length. This timid sea animal will attack while being frightened by its prey.

Golden-Tail Moray Eels

Golden-Tail Moray Eels
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This species becomes the most famous eel due to its visual appeal. The sea animals that have moray eel bite organs are active enough to dwell in aquariums.

They also become favorite creatures among fish owners. Gimnothorax miliaris belongs to this yellow canaries.

Fangtooth Moray Eels

Fangtooth Moray Eels
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Fangtooth morays identically feature sharply uneven glass-like teeth that jug out from the first jaw.

They are also known as tiger eels since their brown and yellow bodies have dark spots. Birds-eye fish is another name of this species with a bright yellow head.

Dragon Moral Eels

Dragon Moral Eels
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Dragon morays live in coral reefs and rocky surfaces. They have long nasal ducts like horns near the eyes. Enchelychore pardalis is the scientific name of the dragonfish moray.

The curved jaws consist of sharp needle-like teeth that cause the mouth always open. Overall, the body is full of brown dots and stripes.

Giant Moray Eels

Giant Moray Eels
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Gymnothorax javanicus is the scientific name of giant moray eel bite fish. It is the largest sea animal with 29,5 kilograms in terms of body mass. Its length achieves 3,1 meters. They are commonly found in the red sea.

Furthermore, its big body is flexible so that the fish can swim easily. The sense of smell grows well to detect the prey and use the moray eel bite. It is because they cannot rely on their small eyes.

The giant creatures feature soft skin that hides toxic mucus for protection. It is as dangerous as the moray eel bite.

In terms of living, one cave is used for two giant eels in some conditions. Their head will appear on the surface to hunt the prey.

Snowflake Moray Eels

Snowflake Moray Eels
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Snowflake moray features bluff teeth to eat crustaceans, echinoderms, and mollusks. The design allows them to squeeze the prey’s hard shells.

On the other hand, some species prefer soft sea animals and feed on the whole body of the creatures.

There are various adorning patterns across the body. They look like snowflakes on the white skin. Some snowflake eels are found in cream color with yellow and black marks.

Its head also contains yellow spots around the eyes. Moreover, their moray eel teeth resemble cone-shaped designs that are suitable for feeding on invertebrate exoskeletons.

This large snowflake fish can eat more creatures in the water.

Zebra Moray Eels

Zebra Moray Eels
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The patterns of the body resemble a zebra that has black and white streaks. This species is the best for saltwater aquarium fish.

Thus, zebra moray eel fish requires a larger aquatic container with a fissure that allows this marine animal to secrete the entire body.

Green Moray Eels

Green Moray Eels
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Green marine fish with its moray eel bite belongs to Gymnothorax funebris.

On the yellow skin surface, there is mucus that gives the body a green hue. The secretion of mucins makes it slippery to touch. However, its original body is brown.

The ability of moray eel bite is supported by a good sense of smell in the dark seawater.

While the spiny-find fish acts as a cleaner that feeds on parasites and dead skin from its body. Those gobies also go to the mouth to clean it from any bacteria.

Moray Eels’ Ability

Moray Eels’ Ability
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An open mouth doesn’t always show a moray eel trying to bite instead, they only take a breath. There are two circular openings on the head that function to pump water.

To swallow the food, this fish has a two-step strategy. Gripping, shooting, and biting the prey will use pharyngeal jaws.

Morays’ ability to entrap the prey can be successful due to their hidden internal jaws. After biting the victim with the pharyngeal, the food is pulled into the throat.

The ability to hunt in the dark area is due to its great sense of smell. The nostrils do this task since they have weak eyesight. They feed on dead fish to clean the reef area.

The Lifespan of Moray Eels

The Lifespan of Moray Eels
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Moray eels will live longer in wild areas for about ten until thirty years.

However, while being captured, this fish requires more effort and much care to have a long lifespan.

They will refuse food when they feel stressed and displeased. Therefore, it can shorten the moray eels’ life.

On the other hand, the process of captive-breeding in aquariums will not face this problem.

Importantly, fish owners should create a safe and comfortable environment in the tanks as well as the eels’ real habitats.

Reproduction System

Reproduction System
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Moray eels’ reproduction system is by producing eggs and hatching outside the body. The fertilization happens in the water. This process is called spawning that sperm and eggs fertilized out of the womb.

Female eels lay on ten thousand eggs at a time. The sperm of a male fertilizes them and turns into larvae.

They try to survive in the open sea for about one year. After the larvae are big enough to swim, they start hiding in rocks and fissures in the water.

Eating Habit of Moray Eels

Eating Habit of Moray Eels
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Since morays belong to carnivores, they eat crayfish and shellfish as foods. Other sea creatures such as octopuses, squids, and shrimps also include their eating habit.

Some species have bluff teeth to break hard shells, although they cannot bite lobsters and crabs.

Moray eel bite happens by surprise attacking the prey from a hidden place like coral reefs. When any sea animal passes by, this predator will suddenly catch on it.

This marine fish will do moray eel bite by using two sets of lined teeth jaws. The first set will hitch the prey, and the second part will secure the whole body of the victim. There is no chance for escaping, but a deathtrap.

Moray Eels’ Living Habitat

Moray Eels’ Living Habitat
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Hundreds of moray eel species spread all over the world. You can find most of them in the Indo-Pacific district. They exist on the coast of Cambodia and California.

There is also a rare species in a specific location. For instance, Taiwanese barbel eels just live in Taiwan.

Giant morays stay in Africa, Asia, and Polynesia. Besides, the green ones are found in the United States, Brazil, and Mexico.

Since each species has different characteristics, the living habitat will also vary. It has been mentioned that moray eels need freshwater, while others tend to be in saltwater.

However, you still find many other creatures that exist in distinctive environments.

Green moray eels require an area that gives more protection from predators. The best places are in shoal waters. Therefore, they prefer rocky coasts, mangroves, and a chain of corals near the water surface.

Another species that prefer hunting near the surface of the water is chain moray eel. They can stand for less than one hour outside the water. Shallow pools and seashores are the favorite places to capture the prey.

On the other hand, mud-dwelling eels dive into deep water. They stay in muddy areas of the Pacific Ocean. The characteristic of a mud-dweller derives from its scientific name Diaphenchelys pelonates.

Moray Eels’ Harmful Status

bite moray eel
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Are moray eels dangerous? The answer is yes. They are one of the most hazardous fish in the sea. Be aware of the ciguatera fish poisoning and harmful bites from this animal.

Some types of moray eels that serve delicious dishes are the Kidako, Mediterranean, and green moray. Muraena helena contains toxic mucus on the whole body, but the process of baking will relinquish the poison.

The Danger of Moray Eel Bite

When you dive in the areas where moray eels hide, they will feel endangered. This reason causes a harmful attack on humans. A starving condition also makes them aggressive to strike other creatures.

Furthermore, moray eels that live in aquariums also can danger the fish owners. The people who directly feed them with bare hands will be at risk of experiencing moray eel bite.

Some possible complications from moray eel injury are allergic reaction, bacterial infections from bleeding, skin scars on the bitten area, and painful hurt if bites on the face.

Also, a moray eel bite can roughly tear the victim and cause a seriously severe wound such as losing any part of the body. Thus, severe injury on fingers or toes needs amputation.

If the victim becomes panic and cannot release the part of the body, a powerful grasp of an eel will cause a submerging situation underwater.

This abnormal behavior of the moray fish can be harmful to humans or other sea creatures

Possible Situations of Moray Eel Attack

There are some possible situations that people can get a moray eel bite.

The common causes are hand-feeding or touching the creatures, keeping the fish as pets in the aquariums, coral reef, and deep-sea divers.

Someone who shows himself up to the fish can be physically wounded. Then, avoid feeding the fish in the aquarium with bare hands. If your finger is too close to the eel’s mouth, it can be injured.

Keep yourself from harm while diving in the oceans that have a high risk of moray eel bite. Snorkelers should stay away from the reefs where the fish might hide.

Moreover, you can prevent the eel bites by wearing protective suits before cleaning the marine fish tanks.

Avoid touching sea animals, although they are pets. Then, never do direct hand-feeding. Divers and sea adventurers should have marine first ad kit.

What to Do When One Gets Bitten

What to Do When One Gets Bitten
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People will get more serious injuries when they are bitten by a bigger moray eel. Some symptoms also occur because of a moray eel bite.

For example, there will be a contusion, roughly tear, and partial loss of function in any part of the bitten area.

The first thing to do when you have a severe moray eel bite is washing the wound and the affected area. Then, take some medicine on the injury surface as a painkiller.

Diagnosis of Moray Bite

If you have several symptoms of a moray eel bite, the procedures of identifying the injury from its signs are a physical examination and some medical tests.

The medical team will examine your injury. Before doing any test, the victim should explain how the fish attack occurs.

If there are some fatal cases in the bitten area, the medic will perform CT scans or X-rays. If necessary, a complete blood test will be carried on.

The Best Treatments to Cure Moray Eel Bite

The proper way is calling the local medical team when any symptoms occur. While waiting for medical help, move the victim from the incident area. If there are wounds with bleeding, apply pressure to stop it.

There are some crucial steps to follow when you have a severe injury due to the moray eel bite. First, wash the bitten area with seawater instead of freshwater. Remove any broken tooth if it is found on the affected skin.

Then, reduce the motion of the part of the body that is bitten. Try to stop bleeding when it occurs. Bandage the wound as needed.

Importantly, never give any oral medication before you get the instruction from the doctor or physician. Proper medical treatment is required when an injury occurs.

Washing the wound with antiseptic is the right care. To reduce the pain, using painkillers might be the best healing.

Applying topical antibiotics also help to prevent any infections. Some cases require to sew some parts of the body with sutures.

Moreover, oral antibiotics and tetanus vaccination are also required. To control any infection that may occur, the victim needs to check-up and follow-up care.

To conclude, a lot of useful information has been stated above. This article informs you about various existed species, the danger of moray eel bite, and also the best treatments for the victims.

A moray eel bite is indeed non-toxic but it will cause an infection. Therefore, you must careful to avoid any injuries when contact with this sea animal.

 

 

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