The by far most common moray eel sold as a freshwater fish is Gymnothorax tile, it is often simply referred to as ‘freshwater moray eel’. Sometimes it is labeled ‘Indian mud moray’, ‘snowflake eel’ (not to be confused with the other ‘snowflake eel’ Echidna nebulosa) or ‘gold dust moray’. It is grey and has numerous yellow to golden spots spread on the dorsal and lateral part of the body. With age the yellow spots become smaller giving the adults a more or less uniform grey appearance. They are common in the Sundarbans mangrove swamps in East India, but they are also distributed in Indonesia, the Philippines and the Andaman Islands. The species reaches a maximum length of 60 cm (24 inches).
Rarely sold are two possible variations of Gymnothorax tile. They may also represent different species. The variation ‘albino gold’ has a very bright, whitish background color, possibly a pantheistic form. The other possible variation has a red stripe at the lower jaw and is traded as ‘red stripe’.
A species often confused with the Indian mud moray is Gymnothorax polyuranodon. In contrast to Gymnothorax tile, it has a white to yellow background color with brown spots. Juveniles are less colorful. Its distribution is similar to its sister species but is extended to New Guinea, Australia, Palau, and the Fiji Islands. It is not as common as Gymnothorax tile. Gymnothorax polyuranodon can occur up to 30 km away from the coast. The maximum length found in literature is about 90 cm, though they do not seem to become larger than 50 cm following other studies.
The third species of freshwater moray eel more or less regular in trade is Echidna rhodochilus. It is among the smallest moray eels and only reaches about 35 cm following literature. It is distributed in Indonesia and the Philippines. The entire body is uniform brown or greenish. The head has a typical white, sharply demarcated spot at the corner of the mouth where the upper and lower jaw meet. In contrast to that, Gymnothorax tile is rather grey than brown and its cheeks, which may be white, too, are not demarcated sharply from the body color.
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These are some very nice, healthy eels. Delivery was great and they’re still going strong. As usual, my online order was exceptional. Thank you guys, keep up the good work.
healthy and very beautiful eel