Animal-World > Marine - Saltwater Fish > Eels - Marine > Atlantic Chain Moray Eel

Atlantic Chain Moray Eel

Chainlink Moray Eel

Family: Muraenidae Picture of a Common Moray and Chainlink Moray EelEchidna catenataPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Can someone please identify the other moray in the photograph - the reddish one with the ocellated pattern?   Frederick Boyce

   The Atlantic Chain Moray Eel or Chainlink Moray Eel is the black and white eel in the above picture.  Its' head is tucked under the brown morays' neck and you can just barely see one of its eyes.

   This saltwater eel can become a large specimen, the Atlantic Chain Moray Eel generally grow to about 2 feet long. They have a more subtle coloring and patterning than some of the other morays. These are easy to maintain and a peaceful addition to a marine aquarium.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

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Geographic Distribution
Echidna catenata
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Anguilliformes
  • Family: Muraenidae
  • Genus: Echidna
  • Species: catenata
Yellow Edged Moray Eel
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Yellow Edged Moray Eel - Gymnothorax flavimarginatus

The yellow edged moray eel (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus) is a member of the family Muraenidae. The yellow-edged morays commonly inhabit drop-offs in coral or rocky areas of reef flats and protected shorelines to seaward reefs. The depth of the eel in the video is evident from the need for a light. They feed on cephalopods, fishes, and crustaceans. Their distribution includes the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and South Africa eastward to the Tuamotus and Austral islands, north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to New Caledonia, and in the eastern Pacific from Costa Rica, Panama and the Galapagos Islands. They can be found at depths as deep as 150 m (500 ft.). Yellow-edged morays can reach a length of up to 240 cm. (7.9 ft.) and are suitable only for very large aquariums.

Chain Moray Eel in Playa Lagun, Curacao (Echidna catenata)
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Video of Chain Moray Eel in the wild.

This video clearly demonstrates why a 30 gallon tank would be too small for a Chain Moray! Like any fish, they love to swim about, and they are mess makers, requiring closer to 100 gallons or more. Chain Morays do not hunt fish, although they can accidentally ingest them, thinking they are crustaceans. Provide a variety of crustacean meats with live crabs for long term survivability.

Anguila Morena (Echidna catenata) Chain Morrey Eel
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Great video of a Chain Moray in a tide pool

This video shows how flexible this fish is when it comes to finding food! Flexible in body and in hunting grounds! The Chain Moray will grow up to 28" (71 cm), and requires a tank that is at least 100 gallons. A deeper tank is better than a shallow tank, since the eel can use it's muscular body to dislodge a heavily weighted lid, as it pushes against the floor of the tank! Weekly water changes after feeding is recommended. Feed only 3 to 4 days until they are satisfied!

Maintenance difficulty:

   The Atlantic Chain Moray Eel or Chainlink Moray Eel is easy to keep. Most eels are very hardy and readily eat all kinds of live and meaty foods.

Maintenance:

   Feed all kinds of live fish and meaty foods. Use a poker if necessary at first to place the food right in front of their mouth.  Don't worry if it doesn't eat for a while at first, they can go for several weeks without food (and often do).

Habitat: Natural geographic location:

   Atlantic Chain Moray Eel or Chain Moray Eel are found in the Western Atlantic: Bermuda, Florida, and the Bahamas to the Antilles and Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Cape Verde and Ascension Island.

Foods:

   They feed mainly on small fishes in the wild with an occasional invertebrate.

Social Behaviors:

   Sociable and peaceful, can be considered a community fish as long as the tankmates are not small enough to eat!

Sex: Sexual differences:

   Unknown.

Breeding/Reproduction:

     Not accomplished in captivity. See Breeding Marine Fish page for a description of how they reproduce in the wild.    Several freshwater species of eels are known to lay their eggs in the ocean and die afterwards.

Light: Recommended light levels:

   No special requirements.

Temperature:

   No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish:

   Atlantic Chain Moray Eel or Chainlink Moray Eel adults grow to 70 cm (30 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:

   A minimum 200 gallon aquarium is recommended. (Probably bigger would be better).

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong

   No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom

   Will generally stay in the bottom of the aquarium. Will find a hollow or cave to stay in most of the time.

Availability:

   This fish is available from time to time.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
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Lastest Animal Stories on Atlantic Chain Moray Eel


Frederick Boyce - 2012-09-15
Can someone please identify the other moray in the photograph - the reddish one with the ocellated pattern?

  • Clarice Brough - 2012-09-17
    Moray Eels are very difficult to id... but my best guess is that they are all Gymnothorax kidako, or Chain Link Morays.

Reply
Big Dave - 2005-01-17
My chainlink hides most of the time until food hits the water. He eats like he is going to the electric chair in the morning. He never bothers other fish unless he is trying to eat and someone polks there snout in his business. My guy loves shrimp and silver sides. The stinkier the treat the more he will love it..very active at night

Reply
Ben compton - 2004-05-17
Chainlink eels are one of my favoite marine pets! Its fun to feed them and its fun to watch them swim at night!They are SUPER agressive when they are in a feeding frenzy!!They do give a painful bite when they are adults but when young there bites arent very painful at all.Have lots of caves for this creature(places to hide). They will out grow a 55gal tank,but they are not fast growing.I had mine for 5 months and is the same size when i bought it(it grown a 1/2in).Chainlink eels are very peaceful when during the day and dont bother fish,unless VERY hungry!This fish is worth every penny!

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-24
    OK what do you mean they are peaceful unless they are very hungry? That includes a whole lot of people, animals etc. Bite?
Reply