Gymnothorax nigromarginatus

Common Name

Blackedge Moray

Year Described

Girard, 1858


Body elongate with a tapering caudal region and well developed dorsal and anal finfolds. Trunk a little shorter or slightly longer than tail. Rear of head thickens behind eye. Snout blunt. Jaw closes completely. Teeth wide and serrated. A single row of fangs on edge of upper jaw. There are 0-3 median fangs. Often a small patch of teeth on roof of mouth. 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: 6-49-142. Three pores on upper jaw.


Body brown above, grading to whitish on the belly. Body and dorsal fin covered with widely spaced tiny white or yellow spots. Dorsal fin margin black and undulating, without any white markings. Anal fin with dark margin. A dark ring around eye. Tip of tail pale.


Maximum size to 100cm TL.


Known from shallow continental bottoms (10-91m) over soft mixed bottoms and seagrass beds.


Gulf of Mexico: known from the Mobile Delta, Alabama to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.


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

Part of a complex of species that includes Gymnothorax saxicola and G. ocellatus. They can be separated by vertebral counts and the color pattern of the dorsal fin.