Rhinomuraena quaesita

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See Talk:Rhinomuraena quaesita for individual experiences with this species, Rhinomuraena quaesita. Feel free to add your own personal experiences.

Common Name
Blue Ribbon Eel
Binomial Name
Rhinomuraena quaesita
Rhinomuraena quaesita juvenile 01.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Muraenidae
Genus: Rhinomuraena
Species: quaesita

Common Names

  • Blue Ribbon Eel
  • Black Ribbon Eel
  • Ribbon Moray



R. quaesita has three different colour phases. Juveniles are velvet black with a yellow doral fin, and become stunning blue males with sexual maturity. The terminal female phase is mainly gold, but is seldom seen in stores. Ribbon eels are very distinctive swimmers, especially the juveniles who look like ribbons twirling through the water.

Mouth is typically expanded, giving the appearance it is ready to strike. However the fearsome appearance is due to the eel breathing. Flared anterior nostrils add to the gaudy appearance[1].

Similar Species

The Ghost or White Ribbon Eel, Pseudechidna brummeri, is far easier to maintain. An ideal substitute for R. quaesita which is hard to feed.

Maximum Size

130cm [1].

Associated Organisms

Anything that lives in symbiosis, parasitic or opportunistically with it.


Ribbon eels are very distinctive swimmers, especially the juveniles which look like ribbons twirling through the water. These eels are social and peaceful (except when hunting). They feel most secure in a den where they can hide their body. Some aquarists have provided their eels with PVC piping buried under the sand for the eel to use.

R. quaesita is very inquisitive and can escape through narrow gaps. New inhabitants will spend time evaluating exits. If there is a weir the eel may find the sump. Some hobbyists have reported discovering the eel severely injured / shredded after becoming entangled in a skimmer pump or, for juveniles, a vortech...

Captive Care

Tank Size

Tank size is less important than providing a suitable environment for the eel. The tanks should have heavy lids and be ‘eel proofed’.

Water Flow





Many ribbon eels never learn to eat in captivity, so unless you see it eating at the store do not buy it.

Natural diet in the wild is fish[1]. Anecdotal reports from some hobbyists suggest feeding is more likely at dusk or after lights out. Plastic tongs holding defrosted fish are waved in front of the eels face until it strikes.

Growth Rate

How quickly it will grow under various conditions.


Things that adversely effect it, such as bacterial infections, parasites etc.


Blue ribbon eels should not be kept by the majority of aquarists due to their dismal track record in captivity. There are very few substantiated claims of long term success.




Small fish likely to be at risk are bullet shaped, such as gobies or firefish.


Safe with coral.


Is it compatible with other invertebrates such as molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms?


How it reproduces, how suitable it is to breeding or captive propagation, techniques on how to etc.

Local Ecology


Very widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific.


Found in lagoons /seaward reefs, hidden in rubble or buried in sand with its head visible. Depth 1-57m[1].

Additional Information

Some additional notes on it that don't fit in the above sections.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 (http://www.fishbase.org): Froese, R., Pauly, D. Fish Base, World Wide Web electronic publication, 2008, Retrieved: 16 March 2011.