The Muraenidae family includes several species of fishes generally known as “morays” and belonging to the Anguilliformes order.
The distinctive feature of these fishes is their body, similar to that of snakes, slightly compressed on the sides but not covered by scales. They have no pectoral or ventral fins, but the dorsal and anal fins extend continuously from their head to their tail. On the underside, this fin is shorter. The head is short but well developed, with large and very sharp teeth arranged in two rows.
For a long time these animals have been considered to be very fierce and with a menacing appearance, due to the continuous opening and closing of their mouths. In reality, these movements are necessary to morays to be able to breathe, as their gill aperture consists in only single opening, small and located behind the head. Many species have tubular nostrils, similar to short tentacles. They can grow to lengths of 150 cm, and have a typical marbled colouring. They are nocturnal creatures and during the day only their head can be seen emerging from their lair.
An average size of 120 cm, but some genera (Gymnothorax and Strophidon sathete) may even exceed 3 meters.
At Acquario di Livorno, it is possible to admire 4 different species of morays.
In particular, a specimen of the green moray eel and one of the comb inside the caribbean tank; other specimens of morrays in a tank of the meditteranean gallery.
This species reaches a maximum length of 70cm. Lives in shallow water, where it blends in among the corals in search of food .