Snowflake Moray Eel
Echnida nebulosa


 

Identification: This species is an excellent inhabitant for the marine aquarium environment. Its coloration is a speckled black and white covering the length of the body with a white face. 

Maximum Length: Grows to a length of approximately 38 inches.

Origin: Indo-Pacific

Minimum tank size:  40 Gallon

Behavior: Snowflake eels feed primarily on shore crabs, spider crabs, and rock-dwelling xanthid crabs. Additionally, mantis shrimps and small bony fish remains have been found in the stomach content analyses of these eels and adult snowflake eels have been observed eating small cephalopods. In general, snowflake eels are excellent reef-safe morays. This species is a hardy aquarium fish since it will accept a variety of meatier foods with particular success being achieved with krill and silversides, two foods which are readily available in the aquarium trade. This species will quickly learn to take this food directly from the aquarist’s fingers but care should be taken as larger specimens can give a nasty bite. This species will appreciate a decoration or rock to hide under, in particular during the daylight hours. The Snowflake Moray Eel can be kept with other fish so long as those other fish cannot fit in the eel’s mouth. As a general rule, if the Snowflake can swallow a fish, it will likely try and eat the fish. Will eat ornamental crustaceans and small fishes, may topple not securely attached rock work.

Feeding and diet:  This species is a hardy aquarium fish since it will accept a variety of meatier foods with particular success being achieved with krill and silversides, two foods which are readily available in the aquarium trade. This species will quickly learn to take this food directly from the aquarist’s fingers but care should be taken as larger specimens can give a nasty bite. 

Reef Compatibility: It is possible to keep this species in the marine reef aquarium although it will devour any decorative corals or shrimp. Also, this species tends to create a great deal of waste matter, thus limiting its usefulness in the marine reef aquarium environment.

Cautions: Although this species can become hand tame, it is still capable of giving a nasty bite and should be treated with respect. The aquarist must be aware that this species needs a very well covered aquarium since eels will attempt to escape. The aquarist who does not heed this warning will end up with a floor specimen rather than an aquarium specimen! 

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