, Volume 28, Issue 2, p 397
Date: 08 Mar 2009

Diurnal, land-based predation on shore crabs by moray eels in the Chagos Archipelago

This is an excerpt from the content

Moray eels are important predators on coral reefs. They normally hide in holes and crevices, ambushing prey and actively hunt and forage only at night. During a research expedition to the remote Chagos Archipelago, central Indian Ocean in 2006, we observed moray eels in high abundance that were not only feeding during the day, but were leaving the water to capture their prey. The north coast of Ile Passe Island, Salomon Atoll, comprises a wide raised reef flat with an eroded carbonate surface creating a habitat of shallow rocky tide pools. Such terraces are comparatively rare coastal features in the Chagos islands and may result from localized tectonic uplift, or were deposited during an episode of raised sea-level such as occurred during the last inter-glacial (~125,000 years BP).

The shoreline adjacent to the reef flat was populated by the shore crab, Grapsus tenicrustatus, which were foraging in the intertidal region (Fig. 1a). In nearby tidal pools, many moray eels, Gymnothorax pict