By Bob Goemans
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Aquarium Systems (Instant Ocean) 


Echidna catenata

(Bloch, 1795)

Chainlink Moray, Chain Moray

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Gulf of Mexico, Southern Florida, Bermuda, and the Bahamas to the Antilles and Brazil.

Size: 28 inches (71 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits coastal coral reefs and rocky shorelines at depths between 3 to about 40 feet (1 – 12 m) and stays under rocks and/or in caves during daytime and hunts prey during evening hours when it feeds on small fishes and crustaceans.

General Husbandry: One of the more commonly seen in the trade moray eels, having a short blunt snout, with its body coloration white to yellow with brown, grey, or black mottling giving it a yellow chain-like coloration. Juveniles have fewer markings. There are some differences in coloration depending about areas of collection.

Best maintained in a dimly lit aquarium having live rock, hiding places/caves, and semi-aggressive tankmates that are too large to swallow, e.g., large wrasses, large angelfishes and surgeonfishes, groupers, and triggerfishes.

As to diet, fresh fish and/or crustacean flesh impaled on a long feeding stick and waved near its head, which usually sticks out of a hiding area, will entice it to grab the food and should be offered twice weekly.


    Order: Anguilliformes

    Suborder: Muraenoidei

    Family: Muraenidae

    Subfamily: Muraeninae

    Genus: Echidna

FYI: May be difficult to get feeding, if so, try feeding live ghost/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs.

One per aquarium.

Avoid hand feeding!

Aquarium must be covered, as they can get out of the aquarium through very small openings.

Rockwork in the aquarium should be quite stable, as they can undermine rock structures and cause their collapse.

Length can exceed that mentioned above.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Coral Safe: Yes

Fish Safe: With caution

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Semi-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 80°F (22 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Echidna catenata (Chainlink Moray, Chain Moray)
Photo © John Randall
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