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Description
Dragon Moray Eel
(Enchelycore pardalis)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Temperament: Aggressive
Maximum Size: 36"
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
Water Conditions: 65-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.0-8.4, sg 1.021-1.025
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific, Hawaii, Southern Japan
Family: Muraenidae
Species: Eels
Aquarium Type: Predatory
Species Information
Dragon Moray Eels have fantastically colored bodies with red, yellow, orange, black and white markings running the length of the body. Their coloration combined with their large size, gaping mouth full sharp teeth and spiked horns above their eyes make the Dragon Moray Eel a truly menacing looking species. Wild specimens can be found in rocky outcrops and coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific to Hawaii, and as far north as southern Japan.
Dragon Moray Eels are bottom dwellers that inhabit rocky formations that they use both for housing and for hunting. Their keen sense of smell allows them to seek out prey in the dark caves and crevices in which they live.
Aquarium Care
Adult Dragon Moray Eels require an aquarium of at least 180 gallons in size. They need to provided with plenty of well secured rocky caves and crevices large enough to accommodate an adult Eel of up to 3 feet in length. Eel aquariums need to have tight fitting well secured tops in order to keep the Eel from escaping the tank. Their poor vision and large strong bodies make Eels excellent escape artists when housed in un-secured aquariums.
While the Dragon Moray Eel does not do a lot of swimming about the aquarium, it is important to have an aquarium that is at least 2 feet from front to back in order to accommodate the rock work necessary to create caves large enough for an adult specimen. Dragon Moray Eels are considered reef compatible (with caution) in the sense that they will not try to eat corals, but in practicality their large size makes them destructive to coral reefs.
They will also consume many of the helper invertebrates like shrimps and crabs that are commonly found in reef aquarium cleaning crews. For these reasons along with the fact that they will eat smaller fish species typically found in reef aquariums, the Dragon Moray Eel is not recommended for reef aquariums.
The aggressive nature and large mouth size of the Dragon Moral Eel should be considered in regards to suitable tank mates. Dragon Moray Eels will consume most any fish, shrimp or crab that they can fit in their large mouths. Therefore, only other large predatory fish species should be considered as suitable tank mates for the Dragon Moray Eel.
It is not uncommon for full grown Dragon Moray Eels to be kept in species only aquariums due to their aggression and feeding habits. When kept in large aquariums (greater than 200 gallons) the Dragon Moray can coexist with species like Triggers, Groupers, Snappers, Puffers, Lionfish and other similar fish species.
Feeding & Nutrition
The Dragon Moray Eel is a carnivore whose diet consists of live feeder fish, squid, octopus, crabs, shrimp and it will eat other fish in the aquarium if they small enough to fit into its mouth. Dragon Moray Eels should only be kept with very large fish species as any smaller fish or invertebrates will be eaten. Dragon Moray Eels have been known to take some time to adjust to aquarium life, during which they will often not eat for weeks or even months.
If this occurs, it is best to offer them live feeder fish or shrimp and to keep the aquarium lights dimmed. Once acclimated to aquarium life, the Dragon Moray Eel will accept a variety of meaty foods fed to it via feeding tongs or feeding stick. It is best to feed them only what they will consume within a minute or two, a couple of times per week.
Additional Photos