Yellow Edged Moray Eel Koh Tao
Learn about the Yellow Edged Moray Eel on Koh Tao
Yellow Edged Moray Eels may look intimidating to scuba divers however, like all Moray Eels they are very shy and often spend their time hiding during the day.
Where to find the Yellow Edged Moray Eel on Koh Tao
Yellow Edged Moray Eels are mostly seen around Koh Tao dive sites that offer lots of coral or rocks to hide in.
You can find Yellow Edged Moray Eels at shallow dive sites such as Twins Pinnacle, White Rock, Mango Bay and Japanese Gardens.
Yellow Edged Moray Eels are also found at popular deep dive sites including Southwest Pinnacle and Sail Rock, which offer many hiding places in crevices.
How to identify the Yellow Edged Moray Eel
A Yellow Edged Moray Eel is often mistaken by scuba divers for the White Eyed Moray Eel however, there are some major differences.
Yellow Edged Moray Eels have a much shorter snout and their head is slightly larger and more compact in shape.
Of course, the most noticeable difference with this marine animal is their amber coloured eyes and the head is usually a purple-brown colour that slowly fades into a mottled yellow-green with brown spots.
Excellent Sense of Smell
This colour formation continues all the way down their elongated body that can be as long as 120cm and the Yellow Edged Moray Eel has a very unique black spot near its gills at the side of its head.
Like most Moray Eels, a Yellow Edged Moray Eel has very poor eyesight and their mouth is very close to their eyes.
To make up for this they have two (2) prominent and very effective nostrils that help them smell both injured and dead fish nearby, which makes them excellent reef cleaners.
Yellow Edged Moray Eel Characteristics & Behaviour
Yellow Edged Moray Eels are highly carnivorous and their diet consists of various fish, squid and other crustaceans.
While most moray eels are nocturnal hunters the Yellow Edged Moray Eel can be seen out hunting during the day, using their excellent sense of smell to hunt for any injured fish attempting to seek shelter around a reef.
Yellow Edged Moray Eels can lay tens of thousands of eggs at one time however, the females do not tend to their young and allow the eggs to drift with ocean currents, which can often end up being eaten by other marine species.
Interesting Facts about the Yellow Edged Moray Eel
Yellow Edged Moray Eels do not have a lot of natural predators and due to their toxic coating of slime are thankfully not targeted by fisheries either.
Their slime coating helps the Eel to be more hydrodynamic when gliding through the water and it helps to bind sand together when they create sand burrows underneath corals and rocks.
A Yellow Edged Moray Eel has two (2) Jaws with razor sharp teeth that grow backward to prevent prey from escaping and their second jaw is known as a Pharyngeal Jaw.
When a moray eel bites onto prey, it uses the outer jaw to clamp hold of its prey while the second jaw moves forward to bite again and pull the prey further into the mouth.