Uropterygius macularius

Common Name

Marbled Moray

Year Described

Lesueur, 1825


Body small and compressed. Low dorsal and anal fin-folds restricted to the tail. Trunk a little shorter than tail. Head tapers anteriorly to blunt snout. Jaw closes completely. Multiple rows of fangs in upper jaw: an outer row of small outer teeth, an inner row of larger canines, and a median row of canines. Vomer with a row of teeth. Lower jaw with an outer row of small pointed teeth and an inner row of larger fangs. Anterior nostril is a small tube. Rear nostril an external opening above upper margin of eye. No pore near posterior nostril. Eye large. Throat region grooved. Gill opening a simple slit. Tail tip hardened.


Body chocolate to medium brown with pale whitish rosettes and/or marbling on the body. The markings can be distinct or almost invisible depending on age or mood. The head always has white spotting, especially on the lower jaw, and white spots centered on the head pores. Eye is yellowish speckled with black. The tip of the tail and fin-folds are golden yellow.


Maximum size to 29cm TL.


Inhabits coral and rocky reefs from 1-230m.


Southern Florida, the SE Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, to eastern Brazil. Also Bermuda.


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.

De Castro, M.S., & A.C. Bonecker. 2005. Leptocephali collected off the eastern coast of Brazil (12–23 S). Zootaxa, 935(1), 1-28.

Other Notes

The only other species of small moray with the fin-folds restricted to the tail is Anarchias similis which has a pore adjacent to the posterior nostril, and non-overlapping vertebral counts (Böhlke, 2002).