It’s amore!

Err, I mean ‘a moray’! This one is Abbott’s moray, Gymnothorax eurostus. It’s unusual to see one out in the open in broad daylight.

Abbott's moray at Woody Head

Morays live in crevices and gaps in reefs. They look mean and ornery, but keep their mouths open to circulate water and thus oxygen over their gills. They can’t see very well, so tend to come out and ‘chase’ you if they want to find out what you are. A green moray (Gymnothorax funebris) once taught a friend of mine to levitate at Flat Rock, Ballina.

Green moray at Flat Rock - note the sharp teeth

They feed on fish, octopuses and crustaceans. They can bite, so don’t provoke them.

The photo below (Abbott’s moray, again) was taken by a friend, Peter, at Woody Head – note the extended nostrils, all the better for sniffing you with.

What's that smell? Oh, it's you! Photo by Peter Scharf

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