Freshwater Moray, Gymnothorax polyuranodon Click to enlarge image
A 650 mm TL Freshwater Moray from Cape Tribulation, Queensland. The fish was photographed in an aquarium. Image: Brendan Ebbner
© Brendan Ebbner

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    polyuranodon
    Genus
    Gymnothorax
    Family
    Muraenidae
    Order
    Anguilliformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to at least 90 cm in length.

Introduction

The Freshwater Moray can be recognised by its colour. It's distribution in Australia is restricted to a number of streams in far northern Queensland.



Identification

The Freshwater Moray can be recognised by its colour and habitat. It is yellowish to brown with dark spots on the head, body and fins. The snout and lower jaw of adults are pale. The species is often wrongly identified as a species of Uropterygius because it appears to lack a dorsal fin. A fleshy dorsal fin, which originates behind the gill openings, is present.


Freshwater Moray, Gymnothorax polyuranodon
A 735 mm TL Freshwater Moray from Cape Tribulation, Queensland. The fish was photographed in an aquarium. Image: Brendan Ebbner
© Brendan Ebbner

Habitat

It occurs in estuaries and lower reaches of freshwater streams.

Distribution

It occurs in the tropical Western Pacific. In Australia it is only known from a few creeks on the eastern coast of the lower Cape York peninsula, Queensland.



References

  1. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  2. 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.
  3. Ebner, B.C., Kroll, B., Godfrey, P., Thuesen, P.A., Vallance, T., Pusey, B., Allen, G.R., Rayner, T.S. & C.N. Perna. 2011. Is the elusive Gymnothorax polyuranodonreally a freshwater moray? Journal of Fish Biology. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.02987.x.