Photographer Tony Wu reported from Ambon, Indonesia, a magical nighttime encounter with a moray he named Barney. Scientists would rather we refer to this noble critter by his Latin name, Gymnothorax favagineus. They are also known as the leopard moray, tesselate moray or laced moray, and to us, a beautiful face is just that, a beautiful face.
The Laced moray can grow up to 300cm in length, and as such are one of the larger species of moray eel. They feed mainly on small fish and cephalopods. It has been observed that adults are prone to be aggressive in the wild.
They are found in the Indo-Pacific, and East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south of Australia. These morays live at depths of between 1 and 45m, usually in crevices within reef flats and slopes.
Photo: Tony Wu