If you’re preparing to dive in Belize for the first time, or you’ve been diving in Belize in the past, you’re likely to be familiar with Belizean eels. Eels are a very common sea creature to come across when diving in Belize, but moreover, they’re very notable and memorable due to their odd and colourful appearance. Usually hiding behind rocks and poking their heads out to see passing divers, eels can seem mysterious to the average diver, which is why we’ve prepared a guide to the eels you may spot when diving in Belize.
The Green Moray
The Green Moray eel is the eel you’re most likely going to spot while diving in Belize. Easily recognizable by their unique colouring–a green that can appear fluorescent at times–Green Moray Eels are beautiful to watch flow effortlessly through the water. While not poisonous, the Green Moray Eel can pack a punch in its bites, so make sure to always respect the Green Moray Eel by giving it space, as you should with all creatures you may encounter when diving in Belize.
The Spotted Moray
While similar and shape and size to the Green Moray Eel, the Spotted Moray Eel is easily characterized by its intense black and white spotted patterning. Spotted Moray eels are a little less likely to be spotted by divers in Belize, especially as their patterning helps them to become masters of camouflage among the plant life and coral of the Caribbean sea.
The Purplemouth Moray
Although the Purplemouth Moray’s name invokes imagery of a colourful or goofy-looking eel, the Purplemouth Moray is mostly a muted brown colour with a subtle purple tint. Also known as the Brown Moray, the Purplemouth Moray is similar to its spotted and green cousins. Like all eels, Purplemouth Morays bring in oxygen by constantly slowly opening and closing its mouth, which to first-time divers can look like an act of aggression, however, moray eels are very shy and docile, only willing to fight if provoked.
The Goldentail Moray
The Goldentail Moray eel, also known to some as the Banana Eel, is similar to the other eels in Belize listed above except for its shiny goldish-yellow coat and white mouth. The Goldentail Moray has a maximum length of 70 centimetres, however, the average Goldentail eel is somewhere around 40 centimetres in length. The Goldentail Moray, just like the other Eels in Belize, is a carnivore who feasts at night on crustaceans and other smaller fish.
Interested in seeing Moray Eels for yourself?
Just 30 miles from Belize City, Belize Dive Haven is located in pristine Turneffe Atoll. Consisting of creeks, lagoons, mangrove islands and cays, the atoll is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 different species of stony corals as well as birds, turtles, manatees and dolphins.