Anarchias similis

Common Name

Pygmy Moray

Year Described

Lea, 1913


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 with a pore adjacent to it. Eye large. Throat region grooved. Gill opening a simple slit. Tail tip hardened.


Body medium brown grading to whitish on the belly. Adults have well developed white branching rosettes or blotches in 2-3 rows. Head with white spots; including those centered on the head pores. Tail tip pale.


Maximum size to 20cm TL.


Found within coral and rocky reef structure from 5-180m.


Georgia to the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Antilles, the Bahamas, Nicaragua, and off eastern and southeastern 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.