Whitemouth Moray, Gymnothorax meleagris Click to enlarge image
A Whitemouth Moray, Gymnothorax meleagris, at a depth of 7m, Horseshoe Reef, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, 16 February 2010. Image: Andrew Green
© Andrew Green

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    meleagris
    Genus
    Gymnothorax
    Family
    Muraenidae
    Order
    Anguilliformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 1m in length.

Introduction

As its standard name suggests, the inside of the mouth of the Whitemouth Moray is white. The species occurs throughout much of the Indo-Pacific region.



Identification

The Whitemouth Moray is brown to yellow-brown with numerous dark-edged white spots on the head and body. The inside of the mouth and the tip of the tail are white. A black blotch surrounds the gill opening. There are enlarged canine teeth at the front of the upper jaw.

Distribution

The Whitemouth Moray is found throughout much of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it commonly seen by divers on the Great Barrier Reef.

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.



References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  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. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.