Sunday, May 9, 2010

YPM ICH 7020 & 4289: More eels

Here is YPM ICH 7020, a zebra moray, Gymnomuraena zebra. The zebra moray is the only species in its genus. This specimen was collected on November 6, 1957 at the Seychelles Islands of the Indian Ocean:



This specimen's colors have faded over the years in ethanol. Live zebra morays actually look even truer to their common name:

(photo source: http://www.nps.gov/archive/npsa/NPSAfish/fish_pops/murean/eel13.htm )

This is YPM ICH 4289, a goldspotted snake eel, Myrichthys ocellatus. I actually identified this specimen myself! It was collected in Barbados in 1878:



Goldspotted snake eels feed mostly on crabs, and they often use their tails as a sort of drill or shovel to get to their buried prey. Here is a diagram showing how this works:

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