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11. Snowflake Moray (Echidna nebulosa)



Subject:

The Snowflake Moray (Echidna nebulosa), is a unique species of moray eel that can be found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. This fascinating creature is characterised by its snowflake-like pattern that covers its body, which makes it stand out from other eels.

Underwater photography is also a great way to capture the beauty of the Snowflake Moray. With their unique pattern and elongated body, they make for stunning subjects for fish portrait photography. Photographers can capture their intricate details, such as their sharp teeth and the pattern of their skin.


The Snowflake Moray is a fascinating creature to study, and its distinctive features make it an excellent subject for underwater filming, underwater videography and underwater photography. The snowflake-like pattern on its body gives the eel a unique appearance that is unmistakable. The markings are made up of a series of white spots that are arranged in an irregular, snowflake-like pattern, hence the name.


The Snowflake Moray is a nocturnal species, which means it is more active at night than during the day. During the day, it can be found hiding in crevices or under rocks, waiting for nightfall to hunt for food.


Underwater videography is an excellent way to capture the Snowflake Moray's behaviour in its natural environment. They are known to be very curious creatures, and they will often come out of their hiding places to investigate divers or their equipment. Filming the eels in their natural environment can reveal their behaviour, such as how they move, how they interact with their environment, and how they hunt for prey.


The Snowflake Moray is an elongated eel that usually grows length of 75cm/2,5ft. It has a serpentine body with a long dorsal fin that runs the entire length of its body. Its elongated body allows it to manoeuvre through tight spaces and navigate its way through rocky crevices and coral formations.


One interesting aspect of the Snowflake Moray's diet is the importance of smell. Morays in general have poor eyesight and thus rely mostly on smell to catch their prey. The Snowflake Moray's sense of smell is so keen that it can detect the scent of its prey from a considerable distance away. Due to this fact injured and sick fish are a big part of their main food source, together with crustaceans and octopuses. The eel's sharp teeth and powerful jaws are then used to catch and hold onto its prey.


The Snowflake Moray's diet also plays an essential role in its environment. As a predator, the eel helps to maintain a healthy balance in the ecosystem by controlling the population of its prey. Additionally, the eel itself can become prey for larger predators such as sharks and other large fish, which also helps to maintain a balance in the food chain.


The Snowflake Moray is a fascinating species that is both beautiful and important to the marine ecosystem. It is also a species that requires protection, as its population is threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. The eel's unique pattern and behaviour make it a popular target for collectors and aquariums, which has led to a decline in its population.


Conservation efforts are essential to ensure the survival of the Snowflake Moray and other species like it. These efforts include establishing marine protected areas, enforcing fishing regulations, and educating the public about the importance of preserving marine biodiversity.


Underwater filming, videography, and photography can help raise awareness about the beauty and importance of the Snowflake Moray and its habitat. By capturing the eel's behaviour and environment, underwater filmmakers and underwater photographers can show the world the unique and valuable role that the eel plays in the marine ecosystem.


Technique:

Moray eels are quite easy to film or to photograph when they are stationary, sheltering in crevices during the day. At night when they are in hunting mode is it way more difficult. Their very frantic way of swimming together with the fact that they shy away from our video lights turns filming them at night into a real challenge for the videographer. This shot only required a little boost of the moray’s yellow spots and a subtle vignette to give this nocturnal predator all the attention it deserves.


Filming location:

This short underwater videoclip has been filmed in Mauritius 🇲🇺


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