Gymnothorax hubbsi

Common Name

Lichen Moray

Year Described

Böhlke & Böhlke, 1977


Body elongate with a tapering caudal region and well developed dorsal and anal finfolds. Trunk a little shorter or a little longer than tail. Rear of head thickens behind eye. Snout blunt. Jaw closes completely. Teeth serrated. One strong row of teeth on each side of jaw (sometimes a incomplete second inner row) and usually one median fang. A patch of teeth on the rear of mouth. Lower jaw with a single row of large teeth and sometimes a incomplete row of inner 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: 7-58-135.


Body chocolate brown with white markings consisting of closely packed white spots and line markings forming a lichen-like pattern. These markings become slightly larger rearward and shrink to single spots and lines on the head. The markings continue onto the fins, which have a light margin.


A small species: maximum size to 35cm TL.


Found in fairly deep water: from 60-90m.


North Carolina to Florida, the Bahamas, and N. Cuba. Not known in the rest of the Caribbean.


Böhlke, J.E., & E.B. Böhlke. 1977. A new moray, Gymnothorax hubbsi (Anguilliformes, Muraenidae), from the western North Atlantic. Bulletin of Marine Science, 27(2), 237-240.

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

By far the smallest Gymnothorax in the region. Most likely to be confused with Anarchias and Uropterygius which are similar in size but have fins restricted to the extreme tip of tail.