Postcard from the Reef – Snaggletooth

The books says these guys grow to 3½ feet in length. Uh, right. This guy was at least six feet long, with a mouth big enough to slide my whole hand into. His scarred head and ragged fangs spoke of a lifetime of life and death struggle on the reef. The book also says that undulated morays are one of the meanest morays, cautioning not to feed or play with these eels. I had not read the book before the encounter, but I needed no warnings to give this fellow a good deal of respect.

A large Undulated Moray (gymnothorax undulatus) shows a toothy threat to the camera, 70ft depth at Tanks

Postcard from the Reef – Roommates

Just another whitemouth moray. But then, I hadn’t seen anything interesting to photograph for a few minutes as I wandered along the reef face. May as well shoot a few frames. Wait? There is a second eel in the cavity! A dwarf moray?

A Dwarf Moray (Gymnothorax Melatremus) and Whitemouth Moray (Gymnothorax meleagris) sharing a cavity in the reef

Yet Another Whitemouth Moray

Yet another photo of a Whitemouth Moray on a Kohala reef. Well? they are the most common moray to be found at scuba depths. At this point I have an extensive collection of Whitemouth Moray photos. They are common, photogenic, and quite cooperative, they sit still while you take the photo.

I only found three of them in the afternoon and evening of diving…

Whitemouth Moray
A Whitemouth Moray (Gymnothorax meleagris) in the reef at Mahukona

Postcard from the Reef – Dragon Moray

One of the rarer, but very impressive, moray eels of the Hawaiian Islands is the Dragon Moray. This is my first decent sighting of one. Decent meaning I did not see the last bit disappearing into the coral, and actually saw the head for more than a glimpse.

He was staying well out of harm’s way with noisy divers about, deep in an antler coral head. The location also made the eel fairly difficult to photograph. I used my usual in-coral-head technique… zoom in, pray for focus, and nuke the coral head with light.

Dragon Moray
A Dragon Moray (Enchelycore pardalis) in a coral head at 40ft depth, Suck ‘Em Up Cavern, Kona