ribbon eel. kuredu. lhaviyani atoll. maldives.
The ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita), also known as the leaf-nosed moray eel or bernis eel, is a species of moray eel, the only member of the genus Rhinomuraena. What is now known as R. quaesita also includes the former R. amboinensis. R. quaesita was used for blue ribbon eels and R. amboinensis for black ribbon eels, but these are now recognized as the same species. The ribbon eel is found in lagoons and reefs in the Indo-Pacific ocean, ranging from East Africa to southern Japan, Australia and French Polynesia. Although generally placed in the moray eel family Muraenidae, it has several distinctive features leading some to place it in its own family, Rhinomuraenidae.
The ribbon eel is a creature bearing a resemblance to a mythical Chinese dragon with a long, thin body and high dorsal fins. The ribbon eel can easily be recognised by its expanded anterior nostrils. Based on observed colour changes, it is generally considered a protandric hermaphrodite (first male, then changing sex to female), although this has yet to be confirmed. Colour change related to sex change is not known from any other moray eel species. The presumed juveniles and subadults are jet black with a yellow dorsal fin, in adult males the black is replaced by blue, and adult females are entirely yellow or yellow with some blue to the posterior. The blue adult males range from 65 to 94 cm (26 to 37 in) in length, while the larger yellow females can reach up to 130 cm (51 in). In captivity, the colour differences are not related to maturity or sex.
This year I hope to try my hand at some proper nudibranch photography. In the mean time a blobby above-water shot of an Orange-clubbed sea slug Limacia clavigera taken using my iPhone4S + olloclip lens. Pretty decent macro for a phone, check the 2nd pic for size!
The seacreature of today is the blue dragon nudibranch! It looks out of this world because of its dragon-like appearance 😍. Did you know this species likes to eat the Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish? It doesn’t just eat it, it incorporates their toxins in its own skin to scare off predators😱! || photograph by: Gary Cobb || #nudibranch#seaanimal#sea#dragon
There are so many things happening simultaneously trying to shoot photos underwater. How is my buoyancy? How much bottom time do I have left? Has the rest of the group moved on because I’ve taken 5 minutes trying to frame the shot? What’s for dinner? .
Patience in underwater photography is a really big deal. As time goes on I think the process becomes more fluid, you become more comfortable with your gear. You learn. Experience is the most valuable teacher we have.
Nudibranch “Nembrotha Cristata”, Shot in Malapascua