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Enchelynassa canina, often known as the Viper Moray Eel, is a species of large, stout uniformly dark brown moray eel with an elongate, laterally compressed body and a tapering tail. It has strongly arched jaws with long fang-like teeth and a long bilobed flap on the anterior nostrils. Only the tips of the jaws meet, so the impressive teeth are visible even when the mouth is closed. Reported maximum total length is over 1.5 m. This species is known from the Hawaiian and central Pacific islands west to Mauritius in the Indo-Pacific and from Clipperton Island and Panama in the eastern Pacific. It is found on outer reefs and reef flats down to 30 m and is said to be nocturnal, feeding on fishes and octopuses. (Böhlke and Randall 2000 and references therein)

Moray eels are “sit-and-wait” predators. Theys are often seen with just their head sticking out of a rock crevice, waiting for a fish to swim by. When the prey is close enough, the eel quickly attacks it, then retreats back into the rock or coral.


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