Gymnothorax moringa

Common Name

Spotted Moray

Year Described

Cuvier, 1829


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. Teeth smooth. A single row of strong teeth in the upper jaw and sometimes a second smaller row. Roof of mouth with a single row of teeth. Lower jaw with a single row of strong 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 formula: 5-54-138


Body white to pale yellow with densely packed brown to blackish spots. Sometimes with more sparse spotting. Eye pale. Young mottled with a white jaw.


Maximum size to ~200cm TL, but most are under 100cm TL.


Known from reefs and soft bottoms from 2-200m, but most likely <40m. A common reef moray.


North Carolina to S. Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. 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.

Gasparini, J.L., & S.R. Floeter, S.R. 2001. The shore fishes of Trindade Island, western south Atlantic. Journal of Natural History, 35(11), 1639-1656.