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Species: Anarchias similis, Pygmy Moray

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pore behind rear nostril over eye
D & A = low crests on tail
tail: ~1/2 TL, tip hard, pointed
lower jaw: pale blotches + pores in white spots

Anarchias similis (Lea, 1913)

Pygmy Moray

Elongate, slender, compressed; snout short, conical, broad; eye slightly before middle of jaw; front nostril tubular, pointing forward; rear nostril a hole above center of eye, with large pore immediately beside; jaws about equal sized; teeth conical, slender, many fangs; between top jaws 7-10 small outer teeth enclosing 3 rows large canines, rearmost 2-3 are large fangs; 2 rows at front sides of jaws, inner row of 2-5 large canines, 1 row on rear; 1 row of 3-11 small teeth on roof of mouth well behind the front patch; lower jaw teeth in 2 rows at front (inner row larger), 1 at rear; gill opening a small slit at about mid-flank; tail a little longer than head and trunk, its tip hard, pointed; dorsal and anal fins present as skin-covered folds at rear of tail; no pectorals; lateral line pores absent except for 2 pores above and before gill opening; a well developed set of head pores.

Color variable: body uniform dark brown to dark brown with a strong pattern of pale spots and (sometimes) pale blotches; lower jaw always with pale blotches and pores in white spots.

Reaches 20.6 cm.

Lives on reefs.

Depth range: 6-200 m.

B Bermuda to the southern Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20.6
Depth Range Min
  • 6
Depth Range Max
  • 200