Chain Moray is a type of eel found in shallow areas of the western Atlantic Ocean and some Atlantic islands. Sometimes, it’s seen in the aquarium trade.
This eel lives alone on reefs and rocky shores. It eats small fish and crustaceans like crabs.
In Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, it hunts for sally lightfoot crabs during low tide and daytime.
Chain Moray can survive out of water for 30 minutes while hunting.
It uses four main techniques to catch prey both in and out of water:
- Searching the edges of pools and rocks for hiding spots,
- Sneaking up on spotted prey,
- Chasing after prey, and
- Ambushing prey from under rocks or crevices.
Its hunting success varies by method but is about 50% overall. While hunting on exposed reefs, it may move up to six meters within an hour.
Chain Moray relies mostly on sight when hunting crabs. If a crab swims close to the eel during its hunt, it may miss its target. Then it may chase the crab up to five meters across the reef.
Chain Moray can strike with part or all of its body outside water, usually from a distance between five and ten centimeters away from its target.
Small crabs are eaten whole, while larger ones are torn apart using tugging, rotating, knotting, and thrashing movements.
The time spent handling food depends on size; bigger crabs take between 90 to 240 seconds to break up and eat (carapace width is 2.3 to 3.2 times larger than the eel’s head width).
This eel is attracted to plastic or rubber decoys pulled by a nylon string and will strike at them.
Chain Moray is not safe for coral reefs.
Chain Moray Interesting Facts
- Chain Morays can grow up to 65.0 inches (165.0 centimeters) long but typically reach around 15.7 inches (40.0 centimeters).
- They hunt small fish and crabs using techniques like ambushing prey from hiding spots and chasing after them.
- These eels can survive out of water for 30 minutes while hunting.
- Found in both the Western and Eastern Atlantic Oceans, they prefer marine environments near coral reefs at depths of 0 to 12 meters.
Chain Moray Habitat
Chain Moray is found in the Western Atlantic, including places like Bermuda, Florida, the Bahamas, and Brazil.
It also lives in the Eastern Atlantic near Cape Verde and Ascension Island. However, its presence in West Africa may be incorrect.
This eel prefers marine environments and is often found near coral reefs. It usually stays at depths of 0 to 12 meters (0 to 2 meters being most common).
This tropical species thrives in waters with latitudes from 33°N to 30°S and longitudes from 82°W to 14°W.
Chain Moray Physical Characteristics
Size: 15.7 inches (40.0 centimeters)
Chain Moray can grow up to a maximum length of 65.0 inches (165.0 centimeters) but usually reaches around 15.7 inches (40.0 centimeters) long.
Chain Moray Reproduction
Chain Moray reproduces by laying eggs, which makes it oviparous.