Muraenidae - moray eels

Moray eels have elongate, eel-like, scaleless bodies with a distinctly elevated (sloped) head and dorsal and anal fins that are continuous with the tail fin. They have two pairs of nostrils. The anterior nostrils are tubular and near tip of snout. The posterior nostrils are higher on the head, beside or above the eyes. They may be raised and tubular or flush with the head. The mouth is large, usually extending behind posterior margin of eye. Their teeth are numerous and strongly pointed. The gill openings are restricted to a small round apertures. Pectoral fins, pelvic fins and lateral lines are absent. They are found in tropical and subtropical waters, either living in holes or crevices in shallow water environments or above sand or mud substrate in deeper waters. Morays are known to be vicious biters but normally will not attack unless provoked. They are consumed by humans in some parts of the world but larger specimens may contain the ciguatera toxin which can make consumers ill and is sometimes fatal.