Exploring Hawaii’s Waters: A Guide to Identifying Types of Eels

Types of Eels in Hawaii

Hawaii is home to various species of eels that inhabit its coastal waters and coral reefs. These fascinating creatures play an important role in the marine ecosystem. Here are some of the types of eels you can find in Hawaii:

1. Hawaiian Dragon Moray (Enchelycore pardalis)

The Hawaiian Dragon Moray is a striking eel species known for its vibrant coloration. It features a black body covered in yellow spots and has a distinct elongated snout. This species can grow up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) in length and is commonly found in rocky reef habitats along the Hawaiian Islands.

2. Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax undulatus)

The Undulated Moray is a large eel species characterized by its serpentine appearance and distinct undulating pattern on its body. It typically has a dark brown or black coloration with lighter, irregular markings. Undulated Morays can grow up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) in length and are often spotted hiding among crevices and coral reefs.

3. Yellowmargin Moray (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus)

The Yellowmargin Moray is a commonly encountered eel species in Hawaii. It has a slender body with a pale yellow to light brown coloration and a dark edge along the dorsal fin. This eel species can grow up to 1.2 meters (4 feet) in length and is known for its inquisitive behavior.

4. Whitemouth Moray (Gymnothorax meleagris)

The Whitemouth Moray is a unique eel species with a speckled appearance and a distinct white mouth. Its body coloration can vary from light brown to dark brown with white or yellow spots. Whitemouth Morays are often found in rocky areas and can grow up to 1 meter (3 feet) in length.

5. Stout Moray (Gymnothorax eurostus)

The Stout Moray is a relatively small eel species commonly found in Hawaiian waters. It has a thick and robust body with a mottled brown coloration. Stout Morays can reach a maximum length of about 60 centimeters (2 feet) and are known for their strong jaws.

These are just a few examples of the eel species you can encounter while exploring the underwater world of Hawaii. Their unique characteristics and behaviors make them an intriguing part of the marine ecosystem in the region.