Snowflake Moray: Everything You Need to Know

Snowflake Moray

Snowflake Moray, also known as Clouded Moray, is a type of marine eel belonging to the Muraenidae family.

It has blunt teeth, great for eating crustaceans, just like its relative, Zebra Moray. In Hawaii, it’s called Puhi-kapa, named after King Kamehameha I’s nickname.

Snowflake Moray’s scientific name comes from Greek and Latin words meaning “viper” and “cloudy.”

This fish lives in the Indo-Pacific region, from Africa to Micronesia and even Hawaii. It’s also found near southern Baja California (Mexico), Costa Rica, and Colombia.

Snowflake Morays live between depths of 3 to 157 feet (1 to 48 meters). They’re often found on reef flats among rocks and corals or shallow lagoons up to 33 feet deep.

These fish are bottom-dwelling creatures and are active at night.

In an aquarium setting, Snowflake Morays can be safely kept with small fish but may eat shrimp if not fed well enough.

They’re solitary animals that you’ll usually see alone or with their head poking out from hiding spots.

Snowflake Moray Interesting Facts

  • Snowflake Morays have blunt teeth for eating crustaceans and are usually found in tropical, reef-associated environments.
  • In Hawaii, they’re called Puhi-kapa, named after King Kamehameha I’s nickname.
  • These eels may change gender from female to male as they grow older, but this is still unconfirmed.

Snowflake Moray Habitat

Snowflake Moray is found in the Indo-Pacific region. This includes areas like the Red Sea, East Africa, the Persian Gulf, Society Islands, southern Japan, Hawaiian Islands, and Lord Howe Island. It’s also found in Micronesia.

In the Eastern Central Pacific region, this eel lives in places such as southern Baja California (Mexico), Costa Rica to northern Colombia. It’s also present in the Southeast Atlantic.

Snowflake Moray lives in reef-associated environments at depths between 1 to 48 meters (usually around 1 to 10 meters).

It thrives in tropical waters that range between latitudes of 32°N to 33°S and longitudes of 27°E to 76°W.

Water Temperature:Unknown
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

Snowflake Moray Physical Characteristics

Size: 19.7 inches (50.0 centimeters)

Snowflake Moray grows up to a maximum length of 39.4 inches (100.0 centimeters), but it’s usually around 19.7 inches (50.0 centimeters) long.

It has a white body with two rows of large black blotches that look like branches. As this fish gets older, the black spots between the blotches become more irregular and linear. The eyes are yellow.

Snowflake Moray has some unique features:

  • The body is relatively slim (14 to 23 times its length),
  • The dorsal fin starts near or just in front of the gill opening,
  • The anus is located around the middle of its body,
  • It doesn’t have canine teeth but has cone-shaped or rounded molar-like teeth in its jaw, and
  • Its vomer (a bone in the roof of its mouth) also has rounded molar-like teeth in two rows that diverge anteriorly, especially in larger individuals.

Snowflake Moray Reproduction

Snowflake Moray is believed to change gender.

However, researchers have not yet confirmed if it exhibits protogyny, meaning they are still uncertain whether this species changes gender from female to male during its life cycle.

Snowflake Moray Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Echidna nebulosa
Also Known As:Snowflake Moray, Clouded Moray, Puhi-kapa
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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