Saturday, May 2, 2009

Eerie Eels... But So Cool!

Seen above, these garden eels are endemic to the Hawaiian islands. You can find them almost anywhere off the Kona coastline and typically they are found in the thousands swaying in the current, like grass in the breeze, at around 60 feet and deeper. They are very thin and feed on plankton and can grow to two feet in length.
You never know when you might come across an eel when diving. They are very interesting creatures. I didn't think that I would enjoy them when I first began diving, but as I continue to dive I find it entertaining to spot their "puka's" or holes in which they hide and set in wait of small fish or perhaps the occasional octopus. Tasty! This eel might be a dwarf moray but it's white spots are throwing me. It seems I might have to do a little more research on this one.
This moray eel is tricky to spot between the rocks and coral and it's coloring completely camouflages him to passing prey
This white mouthed moray eel  is one of my favorites to find. One, because you can easily spot them. Two, because they are usually big. Three, because I can find one on almost every dive. Four, because they almost always open their mouth to show off as if to say, "yes, I'm a white mouth moray eel... Don't mess with me." 
I spotted this one below just briefly and went back to take his picture. I wasn't sure what he was until the next picture below.
He is an undulated moray eel and I don't think that he liked my presence near his puka! Look at those teeth!!! Or, maybe he was just smiling? :) It certainly wasn't crazy frank who is always seen during the night manta dive and is very delightful with the divers!
This picture is of another huge white mouth moray eel, if you look closely in the background you can see a red crab also in the hole behind the eel.
He was a little more shy than others and backed down further into his dwelling as I got a little closer.
During our last dive we happened upon this amazing eel. He is amazing because he is so ugly but so cool in his uniqueness and perhaps because I had never seen one before. But the name certainly suits him and the personality of an eel. These three are pictures of a viper moray eel and these images certainly don't disappoint. 

I believe this last picture is of a yellowmargin moray or perhaps a peppered moray. I'm really not sure, it could even be a stout moray as they come in a variety of colors and markings. I'm getting much better at locating and photographing them and my quest is to get a picture of a snowflake moray and a dragon moray... maybe this July! 

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