The ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) is a species of saltwater eel and it is the only member of the genus Rhinomuraena of the Muraenidae (Moray eel) family of the order of Anguilliformes. Though it is now known as Rhinomuraena quaesita but it also includes the former Rhinomuraena amboinensis.
|Ribbon eel in juveniles|
Unlike most other eels, ribbon eels change color and sex during their life. The eel is an elegant creature with a long, thin body and high dorsal fins and it can easily be recognized by its expanded anterior nostrils. Juveniles and sub-adults are nearly black with a yellow dorsal fin. As they mature, a female becomes yellow with a black anal fin with white margins on the fins and the adult males are blue with a yellow dorsal fin. The ribbon eel have leaflike nostril flaps, which sense vibrations in the water. The eel grows to an overall length of 100 (approx) cm and has a life span of up to twenty years.
Unfortunately, the ribbon eel is a difficult fish to keep though it is one of the most interesting of the moray species. It has several unique characteristics that are why it should place in its own family, the Rhinomuraenidae.
|A pair of adult Ribbon eel|
Ribbon eels make striking display sea creature for the home aquarium, but in some captive setups they may refuse to feed. To help initiate feeding in a stubborn ribbon eel provide adequate hiding places, so your eel feels secure. The ribbon eel is native to the Indian and Pacific oceans and live on coral reefs, mostly hiding in crevices.
Be aware that ribbon eels are especially proficient at finding small cracks and holes in the aquarium back stripping to exit through. Finally if it is possible to keep a ribbon eels in your aquarium, you need to be willing to give it special care.