The ribbon eel is a species of moray eel and depending on the stage of its life you might come across black, blue or yellow eels. They grow about a meter long and can live up to 20 years in the wild. Did you know that all ribbon eel’s start off as males? They are born black with yellow dorsal fins and as they grow older they turn a brilliant blue with yellow dorsal fins and mouth. As they mature the blue/yellow males start to turn completely yellow and eventually develop female organs and even lay eggs.
They are usually seen poking their heads out of reefs, mouth wide open as if someone just told them a deeply offensive joke. However, it’s just how they breathe, opening and closing their mouths to push oxygen rich water across their gills.
Ribbon eels feed mostly on small fish and they attract their prey by flaring their nostrils. They use their strong jaws to chomp down and quickly retreat to their burrows. Ribbon eels are known to commit to the same burrow for months or even years! No place like home for these eels, where in some cases they even share the same burrow with their eel friends and they probably throw the best eel parties.
Take a look at this video to see how mesmerizing these beautiful eels look like as they travel underwater: