Species encyclopedia

Mediterranean Moray

Muraena helena


The female lays fairly large eggs (5 mm) in the summer. Like with conger eels and European eels, their flattened, transparent oval larvae are called leptocephali.

The moray eel is a predator that hunts shrimp, crabs, cuttlefish, octopi and fish, mainly at night. Its threatening appearance and sharp teeth have earned it a terrifying reputation. However, it never harms divers intentionally and only attacks when feeling threatened.

Contrary to preconceptions, it has no venomous glands, although its jaws are covered with a toxic mucus that is responsible for the rapid infection of the wounds that it inflicts.

Its name comes from a Roman, Licinus Muraena, who raised moray eels at his home as a demonstration of his wealth and power. According to legend, it is even said that slaves were tossed into ponds filled with morays... setting the stage for their bad reputation.



Species encyclopedia

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