Snake eels and Moray eels. Part 5 of my documentary, “Mucky Secrets”, about the fascinating marine life of the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia. Watch the full 90-minute documentary at

In this video I look at different types of eel in the Lembeh Strait. Snake eels are common here. A convict snake eel, Leiuranus versicolor, swims in the open and bears a coloration similar to some sea snakes, which may deter predators.

Snake eels burrow tail-first into the sand, with just the head exposed. They are ambush predators. We encounter a stargazer snake eel, Brachysomophis cirrocheilos, and a highfin snake eel, Ophichthus altipennis, being cleaned of parasites and dead skin by magnificent shrimps, Ancylomenes magnificus.

Moray eels are also common. We encounter a free-swimming snowflake moray, Echidna nebulosa, and a whitemouth moray, Gymnothorax meleagris. A palechin moray, Gymnothorax herrei, bears the scars of previous conflicts on its face.

Finally I take a look at the ribbon eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita. Juvenile ribbon eels are black with are black with a pale yellow border to the dorsal fin and lower jaw. As it grows older, the ribbon eel turns into a male, taking on a bright blue and yellow coloration. Later, the eel changes into a female. It loses the blue and takes on a completely yellow color.

Ribbon eels have greatly expanded anterior nostrils, along with protruding barbels on both jaws, apparently to help them sense passing prey.

There are English captions showing either the full narration or the common and scientific names of the marine life, along with the dive site names.

The full Mucky Secrets nature documentary features a huge diversity of weird and wonderful marine animals including frogfish, nudibranchs, scorpionfish, crabs, shrimps, moray eels, seahorses, octopus, cuttlefish etc..

Thanks to Kevin MacLeod of for the music track, “Tenebrous Brothers Carnival – Snake Lady” which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Thanks to the staff and keen-eyed divemasters of Two Fish Divers ( for accommodation, diving services and critter-spotting.

The video was shot by Nick Hope with a Sony HVR-Z1P HDV camera in a Light & Motion Bluefin HD housing with Light & Motion Elite lights and a flat port. A Century +3.5 diopter was used for the most of the macro footage.

Read more:

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Full list of marine life and dive sites featured in this video:

00:04 Convict Snake Eel, Leiuranus versicolor, Jahir
00:39 Stargazer Snake Eel, Brachysomophis cirrocheilos, Hairball
01:04 Highfin Snake Eel, Ophichthus altipennis, TK 1 (Teluk Kembahu)
01:19 Magnificent Shrimp, Ancylomenes magnificus, TK 1 (Teluk Kembahu)
01:32 Snowflake Moray, Echidna nebulosa, Aer Perang
01:59 Whitemouth Moray, Gymnothorax meleagris, Aw Shucks
02:16 Palechin Moray, Gymnothorax herrei, Retak Larry
02:24 Palechin Moray, Gymnothorax herrei, Hairball
02:38 Ribbon Eel (juvenile), Rhinomuraena quaesita, TK 1 (Teluk Kembahu)
02:57 Ribbon Eel (male), Rhinomuraena quaesita, TK 3 (Teluk Kembahu)
03:14 Ribbon Eel (female), Rhinomuraena quaesita, Aer Perang
03:25 Ribbon Eel (female), Rhinomuraena quaesita, TK 1 (Teluk Kembahu)
03:38 Clark’s Anemonefish, Amphiprion clarkii, Police Pier