Rhinomuraena quaesita (Garman, 1888)
Rhinomuraena quaesita (Garman, 1888)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Rhinomuraena quaesita

English Name: Ribbon moray

Creole Name:

French Name: Murène ruban

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 0; Dorsal rays: 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 0.

Body long, compressed, very slender, ribbon-like body. Tubular anterior nostrils ending in fan-like extensions. Three fleshy tentacles on tip of lower jaw 
and a single fleshy pointed projection at the tip of its snout. Intermaxillary teeth in three rows, with teeth on the jaws conical, staggered and similar 
in size. Vertebrae: 270 - 286.

Colour: Colouration varies with growth and sexual condition. Juveniles and sub-adults black, developing a yellow dorsal fin with white margin. Yellowish 
stripe on mandible in juveniles. Adult males bright blue with snout and lower jaw yellow. Adult females are yellow with black anal fin and sometimes 
bluish posterior colouration. 


Maturity: range 94 – 120 cm. Max length: 130 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits lagoons and seaward reefs (depth 1–67 m). Secretive, normally hidden in sand or rubble with its head protruding. Feeds on small fishes.
Tends to be site attached; individuals have been known to stay in the same hole for months or even years. 
Only moray that undergoes abrupt changes in coloration and sex. It is a protandrous hermaphrodite, i.e., all females are derived from males that have 
changed sex. 

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is not subject to the artisanal fishery.


Photo courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. Juvenile pictured. 
Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.
Rhinomuraena quaesita has several characteristics that have lead experts to suggest that it should be placed in its own family — the Rhinomuraenidae; 
these include the positioning of its kidneys and most of its reproductive organs posterior to the anus (a unique condition that has not been reported in 
any other vertebrate).


Bray, B.J. Rhinomuraena quaesita in Fishes of Australia, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3568 (29/06/23).
Chen, H-M. et al. (1994). A Review of the Muraenid Eels (Family Muraenidae) from Taiwan with Descriptions of Twelve New Records. Zoological Studies 33(1) 44-64 (1994). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2023). FishBase. Rhinomuraena quaesita. https://www.fishbase.se/summary/8594 (29/06/23).
McCosker, J.E. (2010). Rhinomuraena quaesita (errata version 2017). The IUCN Red List 2010: https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T155301A4770176.en. (29/06/23). 
McGrouther, M. (2021). Ribbon Eel, Rhinomuraena quaesita. https://australian.museum/learn/animals/fishes/ribbon-eel-rhinomuraena-quaesita/ (29/06/23).   
Heemstra, P.C.  et al. (2022) Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean (Volume 2), SAIAB, South Africa.


Nevill, J.E.G., Brighton, E. & Mason-Parker, C. (2023). Rhinomuraena quaesita, Ribbon moray eel.  Seychelles Seatizens. www.seatizens.sc. https://seatizens.sc/species/rhinomuraena-quaesita-garman-1888/

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