Muraena retifera

Common Name

Reticulated Moray

Year Described

Goode & Bean, 1882


Body elongate yet robust with well developed dorsal and anal finfolds. Trunk a little shorter than tail. Head tapers anteriorly. Snout blunt. Jaw closes completely. A single row of fangs along upper jaw. A single row of 2-3 median intermaxillary fangs. Vomer with a row of small teeth. Lower jaw with a single row of fangs. Anterior nostril is a small tube. Rear nostril a tubular opening above anterior eye. Eye large. Throat region grooved. Gill opening a simple hole. Dorsal origin well anterior to gill opening. Fins confluent around tail.


Body dark brown with numerous small rosettes covering body and base of fins. These rosettes are often concentrated in patches within larger, more diffuse brown blotches, with darker brown interspaces. The rosettes become simple spots on the head and outer fin margins. Spots on head are about the same size everywhere. A large black blotch surrounds the gill opening. Eye surrounded by dark pigment. Inside of mouth dark with white spots. Juvenile pattern is similar but spots are relatively larger and more contrasting.


Maximum size to 90cm TL.


A deepwater species found over both soft and hard bottoms from 20-90m.


A continental species found from North Carolina to the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche. Also recorded from Venezuela and southeastern Brazil.


Barneche, D.R., Anderson, A.B., Floeter, S.R., Silveira, M., Dinslaken, D.F., & A. Carvalho-Filho. 2009. Ten new records of reef fish on the coast of Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Marine Biodiversity Records, 2.

Böhlke, E.B. 2002. Muraenidae (pp 700-718). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 32: Bony fishes part 1 (Acipenseridae to Grammatidae). FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5.