Muraena melanotis

Common Name

Honeycomb Moray

Year Described

Kaup, 1859


Body elongate yet robust with well developed dorsal and anal finfolds. Trunk a little shorter than tail. Body thickest on anterior third. Head tapers anteriorly. Snout blunt. Jaw closes completely. A single row of fangs along anterior upper jaw and two rearward. A single row of 2-3 median intermaxillary fangs. Vomer with a row of small teeth. Lower jaw with a single outer row of fangs and a handful of larger fangs in an inner row. Anterior nostril is a small tube. Rear nostril a prominent flap extending above head (half the height of Muraena pavonina). Eye large. Throat region grooved. Gill opening a simple hole. Dorsal origin well anterior to gill opening. Fins confluent around tail.


Body dark brown to black with closely set white spots that are smaller than eye diameter. Spots fuse on belly, snout and fin margins to form large pale areas with thin black reticulations. Dark blotch on gill opening. Eye orange. Inside of mouth orangish. Posterior nostril flap white. Juveniles with larger spots.


Maximum size to 100cm TL.


Known from insular reefs from 0-60m.


Known only from St. Paul's Rocks, Brazil. Also the eastern Atlantic.


Feitoza, B.M., Rocha, L.A., Luiz-Júnior, O.J., Floeter, S.R., & J.L. Gasparini. 2003. Reef fishes of St. Paul’s Rocks: new records and notes on biology and zoogeography. aqua, 7(2), 61-82.

Other Notes

The pale snout and smaller posterior nostril flaps easily separate this species from Muraena pavonina in the field.