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Juvenile Eel? Orange Moray?

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I believe I may have spotted an orange moray today at a dive site called Little House on the East End of Grand Cayman. The eel was seen at a depth of roughly 50 feet deep, laying out over some algae and plant growth. At first glance, I thought I had seen a pipefish of sorts, but it didn't appear scaly as many pipefish do, nor did it have any banding. Upon reviewing my images back in my office, I discovered that it was no pipefish at all, but a very small eel. My best estimate would be about 4 inches in length. I turned to my Humann/DeLoach reef fish ID book to see if it might be a juvenile of one of the more common morays we see here, but finding no description or images of juveniles, I came upon the image of the orange moray, and the suggestion that sightings be reported to REEF. I still suspect that it might be a juvenile of a common species, as the body is near translucent. I've sent the images to REEF to hear their thoughts, but figured I might hear something sooner by posting here. The images were shot with an Olympus 790 SW point-and-shoot that I carry with me when I'm shooting wide on my DSLR, just in case I should happen to see anything small and interesting, so the quality isn't great, but hopefully it's enough for an ID!

837585597_CJq5M-L.jpg

837585898_Z3RvE-L.jpg

 

 

Thanks for your help!

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I think is a golden moray . I saw one once here in the northeast coast of DR in very shallow water and was not as translucent as the one in your picture.

 

Hope that some of the ID experts around here can help

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Normally I stay away from fish posts but this reminds me of a small moray that my friend Art caught when we were in Costa Rica (although he has Panama down as the site) Moringua edwardsi. Could this be the same? http://www.flickr.com/photos/artour_a/259261393/

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Hmm, I'm not familiar with golden morays, I'll have to check into it.

 

Leslie, thanks for the link. It does look quite similar, although there's a great difference in length... I'll keep on it--it's always fun to spot something you can't easily identify!

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Juvenile Golden Tail Moray ??

If i was to see that I would assume that was what it is and not think about it again .. normally my weakness .. so i am probably wrong.

 

4inches long is tiny .. so very juvenile i guess and probably why it was near translucent, the purple bit near the head is the brain i am assuming not colouration.

 

I have never heard of or seen an Orange Moray ... but cool if it is .. school days and all.

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Art's moray was somewhere between 4 & 6 inches long if I remember right. Where's Luiz when you need him? ;)

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