Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    pictus
    Genus
    Gymnothorax
    Family
    Muraenidae
    Order
    Anguilliformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to around 1.2 m in length.

Introduction

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.

Identification

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

Habitat

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

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.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Ozcam map of Painted Moray specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=gymnothorax%20pictus&zoom=off#mapView

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.

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.