Animal Species:Painted Moray, Gymnothorax pictus (Ahl, 1789)

The Painted Moray can be recognised by its fine black speckles which sometimes join to form diffuse spots. The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific and from islands of the tropical eastern Pacific.

Painted Moray, Gymnothorax pictus

Dr John E. Randall © Dr John E. Randall

Standard Common Name

Peppered Moray

Alternative Name/s

Bar-cheeked Eel, Black-speckled Reef-eels, Peppered Moray

Identification

The Painted Moray can be recognised by its fine black speckles which sometimes join to form diffuse spots.

Size range

The species grows to around 1.2 m in length.

Distribution

The Painted Moray occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific and from islands of the tropical eastern Pacific. In Australia it is known from north-west Cape, Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country, and south to the Capricorn Group, Queensland.

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Painted Moray specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is known to occur in very shallow water on reef flats.

Feeding and Diet

where it feeds primarily on crustaceans, but also on fishes. It has been observed fully exposed as the tide recedes, sometimes leaping from the water to capture crabs on rocks above the surface.

Classification

Species:
pictus
Genus:
Gymnothorax
Family:
Muraenidae
Order:
Anguilliformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Bohlke, E.B. & J.E. McCosker. 2001. The moray eels of Australia and New Zealand, with the description of two new species (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae). Records of the Australian Museum. 53(1): 71-102.
  2. Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol.7 Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. pp. i-xii, 1-665.
  3. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R & R.C. Steene. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 507.
  4. Randall, J.E. 1995. Coastal Fishes of Oman. Crawford House Publishing. Pp. 439.
  5. Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific: New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. University of Hawai’i Press. Pp. 584.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Peppered Moray, Gymnothorax pictus, Muraenidae, eel, black speckles, blotches/mottled, tropical water, marine, Bar-cheeked Eel, Black-speckled Reef-eels, > 1m, dots/spots, shallow water, reef flats,