1. Geometric moray eels are male and female at the same time

Image: Tim Sheerman-Chase | CC BY 2.0 Generic
Photo credit: Tim Sheerman-Chase (CC BY 2.0)

When mating, each geometric moray eel can act as either a male releasing sperm or a female releasing eggs. So far only one other moray eel is known which behaves like this.

2. They have an extra pair of nostrils

Photo credit: NOAA

The geometric eel has two elongated front nostrils at the front of its face. It also has two extra nostrils, further back, which point upwards. This gives them an excellent sense of smell with which to locate their prey.

3. Its distinctive markings are actually pores

Photo credit: Tim Nicholson

It’s called Geometric because of the lines of dashes on its face. These are pores which detect changes in pressure and help the eel detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water. Again, great for hunting.

4. It has no scales and is covered in mucus

geometric moray red sea
Photo credit: Alexander Vasenin (CC BY 3.0)

Without scales the eel can slip into openings in corals and rocks that other larger fish, like groupers, can’t

5. Sneaky groupers scavenge off prey flushed out by the eels

Photo credit: Tim Sheerman-Chase (CC BY 2.0)

In some places groupers hang around with the eels and snatch up the fish that the morays drive out. The grouper normally has its own territory, but leaves it temporarily to go hunting with the geometric moray eel.

Geometric morays are also known as Gymnothorax griseus, Grey moray, Peppered moray, White moray and Siderea grisea.

Main photo credit: Tim Sheerman-Chase (CC BY 2.0)

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