Eel ID help in Grand Cayman

Hi, we saw this little guy at Devil's Grotto.  I don't think purplemouths are at all common here, do goldentails or any other eels have the purple mouth interior too?

Goldentail Moray

It's a Goldentail Moray eel.  Not only is the color and pattern correct, it appears to have a yellow iris, which is a characteristic of goldentails.  The purplish color comes from the purple color cast (a product of limited red light) that can occur very easily underwater.


Hope this helps.




It wasn't deep, so I hadn't even considered it was from the water filtering light.  Thank you!

Camera settings

You are right that it's somewhat unusual in shallow water.  However, depending on which white balance setting you use, the color cast can be a variety of colors, purple in this case.  If you're using an external strobe, use the setting the strobe manufacturer recommends.  If you're not using one, you'll probably want the white balance setting on underwater, cloudy, or daylight, depending on water conditions.  You'll just have to play with this setting to figure out which ones work best for you in each situation.

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