How do you feel when you come face to face with a moray eel? Do you swim in to take a closer look? Are you more alert and react quickly by swimming in the opposite direction? The moray eel, with their rows of sharp teeth and mouth wide open, may look scary and aggressive, but in fact they are actually just breathing. They breathe by allowing water to pass through their mouths and through their gills. They are not considered aggressive; however, as with all marine life, it’s best to observe from a distance so they don’t feel threatened or provoked.
With their ribbon-like bodies, coral reefs make the perfect home for moray eels. Moray eels in Amed are often spotted with only their heads exposed, and the rest of their bodies curled behind the reefs. They do not have scales, and they produce a mucus-like coating over their skin to protect their bodies as the sliver in between corals, rocks and crevices.
With poor vision, most eels feed at night, and it is often at this time that you can spot them out of their lairs, free swimming, in search of food.
You will encounter a variety of moray eels in Amed and other eel species too.. On our amazing House Reef, you can spot the beautifully patterned Napoleon snake eel, Ophichthus bonaparti. It can reach 75cm in length, but normally you find just their head exposed in the sand as they live in burrows below. We also have the stunning Snowflake Moray eels in Amed, Echidna nebulosa. This eel is often spotted free swimming in rocks and seagrass in the shallows, just off the beach. We also have a resident Leopard Moray Eel, who just made his home in the ferry that sank back in April 2019.
The USAT Liberty Shipwreck also makes a great home for many different eels. If you’ve visited the wreck before, you’ve surely seen the garden eels. They do look like plants in a garden, which is where they get their name. They live in groups and some species can get up to 120cm in length, though usually, only parts of their bodies are sticking out from the sea bed. These aren’t the only eels you’ll find at the wreck!
The coral reef dive sites around Amed are filled with all these eels as well. In addition, we often find vibrant ribbon eels in royal blue and yellow (adults) or black and yellow (juvenile). Did you know that they are all born male? They change from black and yellow, to blue and yellow, and then in some cases they will change to a female (all yellow) so they can reproduce. The female is rarely spotted due to the fact that she will die a month after she releases her 10,000 eggs. Normally, ribbon eels are only partly sticking out of the coral rubble or sand, but occasionally you will see them in all their glory, 1 meter long and freely swimming! Now this is a sight to see!
Are you interested in eels? Come check them out with us at Two Fish DIvers Amed! Diving in Amed is among the most diverse in Bali. You’ll find wrecks, corals reefs and phenomenal muck dives. Moray eels in Amed are just a small part of the amazing underwater eco-system that we see on every dive! Do you want to fun dive in Amed, stay with us or take a PADI course in Bali? Fill in the contact form below and we will get right back to you.