Moray Eel

Animal File

Coral reefs
Rocky reefs
Common Name:
Moray Eel
Scientific Name:
Gymnothorax SPP
Size: Up to 300cm
Indonesia, Australia
Conservation Status
Deficient data

Moray eels have a snake-like appearance with an elongated body and slightly flattened tail. There are approximately 200 different species of moray eel and they can vary in colour, pattern and size ranging from just 10cm to almost three meters in length.

Morays are found in both shallow and deep waters and spend a lot of time hiding in crevices and holes amongst the rock and coral reefs. This way, they remain out of sight from predators but are also able to ambush any unsuspecting prey that may pass. Moray eels secrete a slippery mucus to protect them against predators which in some eel species is toxic. Although one of the top predators themselves, they are often hunted by large sea creatures such as sharks and barracudas.

Moray eels have two sets of jaw; the second jaw is located in their throat which they launch into their mouth when feeding. This allows them to grasp prey and transport back into their throat and digestive system. Moray eels are carnivorous and mainly feed on other fish, molluscs, cuttlefish, squid and crustaceans.

Mating generally occurs at the end of the summer when the water is at its warmest. Fertilisation takes place outside the womb in the surrounding water, known as spawning. Over 10,000 eggs can be released which develop into larvae and become part of plankton. It can  take up to one year for the young to grow large enough to swim and join the community below on the ocean floor.

The Oceanarium is home to three species of moray eel; honeycombe, green and giant. They can be found in the Oceanarium’s Great Barrier Reef display and are fed during a presentation four times a week.  

Children under 3 yrs FREE!! See other tickets

The health of our aquarium family, which includes our visitors, staff and animals, is our top priority. In light of the most recent advice from Public Health England and the government, we will be temporarily closing the Oceanarium Bournemouth effective immediately, until further notice.

We apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience caused.

Please be assured that our dedicated keeper team will continue to provide the best care for our animals during the closure.

If you’ve booked tickets for any day during this closure, you can exchange them for any other date in 2020 or we can provide a refund. Please send your booking details to

We’ll keep you informed through our website and social media channels. Thank you for your patience and we really look forward to welcoming you back to the Oceanarium when we re-open. Stay safe everyone.