top of page

201. Turkey Moray Eel aka Guineafowl Moray (Gymnothorax meleagris)


A Turkey Moray Eel (Gymnothorax meleagris), also known as the Guineafowl Moray or the Whitemouth Moray, is not often seen in Mauritian waters.

This solitary moray eel is easily recognised by its typical colour and pattern: a very dark eggplant purple (aubergine) or dark brown to nearly black body with numerous light spots. These markings, evenly spread across the entire body, can range from small, yellowish or cream-coloured spots to larger, round white dots. The inside of its mouth is white.

This dotted and slender moray eel is found in a wide range of locations, from Africa's southern cape to the Red Sea, all the way to the Marquesas and Gambier Islands of French Polynesia, in the north to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, and south to Lord Howe Island in Australia. This smaller-sized moray eel, which can grow to a maximum length of 120cm/3.9ft, prefers shallow waters and is most often spotted on coral and rocky reefs and inside lagoons.

This opportunistic predator of small fish and occasionally crustaceans hunts its prey in the shallow waters of coral reefs. It often emerges suddenly from its hideout to snatch an unlucky passing fish in a surprise attack. This moray eel is also known to hunt at low tide in very shallow tide pools, where trapped fish become easy pickings for these cunning moray eels.

The individual in this short underwater video clip seems to be using a piece of coral to scratch its head. This behaviour signals that the moray is likely afflicted by parasites, and a good rub on a hard or rough surface might help the moray in removing these parasites.


The goal of underwater videography is to create engaging and captivating videos that resonate with your audience. Unlike terrestrial environments, underwater scenes require some extra effort to make them visually appealing and interesting. To capture compelling footage, underwater videographers need to constantly observe and remain vigilant for interesting actions and behaviours exhibited by marine creatures. This vigilance helps them identify unique moments to record and share with their audience. Ordinary activities, like a fish simply swimming, may not be particularly captivating to viewers. Fish swimming is considered a standard and expected behaviour. The primary challenge for underwater videographers is to record rare or less commonly observed behaviours exhibited by marine life. This requires patience, skill, and a deep understanding of the marine environment. Examples of such intriguing marine wildlife behaviours include capturing instances of feeding, where a predator hunts its prey, or mating rituals where species engage in courtship. Filming the process of marine creatures laying eggs can also be fascinating, as it's not something that's easily witnessed. Another captivating aspect of underwater videography is documenting interactions between different marine species. This can include symbiotic relationships, such as cleaner fish removing parasites from larger fish, which showcases the interconnectedness of marine ecosystems.

Creating engaging underwater videos involves more than just pointing a camera at marine life. It requires a keen eye for unique and interesting behaviours, as well as the patience and skill to capture these moments on film. By focusing on activities like feeding, mating, egg-laying, and interactions between species, videographers can bring the underwater world to life and share its wonders with a wider audience.

Filming location:

This short underwater videoclip has been filmed in Mauritius 🇲🇺

Join us on a journey of discovery and entertainment as we explore fascinating marine wildlife topics and explore the many exciting underwater adventures on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page!

Bring the beauty of the ocean to life with our online Marine Wildlife Videography course!

bottom of page