Gymnothorax conspersus

Common Name

Saddled Moray

Year Described



Body elongate with a tapering caudal region and well developed dorsal and anal finfolds. Trunk a little shorter than tail. Rear of head thickens behind eye. Snout blunt. Jaw closes completely. Teeth serrated. Two rows of fangs in upper jaw: one on each side of front of jaw. Maxillary teeth in single row. Lower jaw with a single row of teeth. Anterior nostril is a small tube. Rear nostril an external, slightly raised opening above anterior margin of eye. Eye large. Throat region grooved. Gill opening a simple hole. Dorsal origin well anterior to gill opening. Fins confluent around tail. Vertebral (pre-dorsal, pre-anal, total) formula: 6-66-168. Three pores on upper jaw.


Body brown becoming much darker brown toward the tip of the tail and on the anal fin. There are many whitish spots covering the entire body that become much larger as you get to the tail tip, where there is a single row of large white spots. Spots on the head and most of the body anteriorly much smaller than eye diameter. White spots surrounded by halo of darker brown pigment. Dorsal fin dark brown with a distinctive pattern of oblique white slash-marks running almost the entire length of fin (interspaces wider). Eye surrounded by dark ring.


Maximum size to 110cm TL.


A deepwater species taken from 50-800m, but mainly under 200m. Lives on soft substrates.


Known from insular localities in the Caribbean islands, the northern coast of South America, to southern Brazil. Not known from the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast of the United States.


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.

Other Notes

The related Gymnothorax kolpos is allopatric in range and differs in having a dark margined dorsal fin with no saddles and lower vertebral counts. The body spots are much smaller than the paler tailed G. ocellatus-nigromarginatus-saxicola complex.