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Species: Gymnothorax kolpos, Blacktail Moray

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snout blunt, jaws short
green-brown + many small pale spots
D as body at front, black at rear
tail dark + 3-4 large white spots
top jaw 3 pores
teeth triangular, serrated, no canines
tail slightly > 1/2 TL
A dark, no spots

Gymnothorax kolpos Bohlke & Bohlke, 1980

Blacktail Moray

Body elongate, compressed at rear; tail tapering; snout moderate and blunt; mouth short; head and trunk shorter than to slightly >1/2 TL; eye over middle of mouth; front nostril a simple tube; rear nostril a hole with a rim at level of profile of head; lower jaw straight, mouth closes completely; teeth large, triangular, compressed, serrated, in single series on jaws; top front of mouth with 1 central tooth and 4 teeth on each side, then 8-14 main jaw teeth on each side; back of roof of mouth with 0-7 teeth; lower jaw with 13-19 teeth on each side; gill opening round; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but evident; dorsal origin on head, before gill opening; top jaw with 3 pores.

Head and trunk green-brown, merging into dark brown-black on the rear 1/3 of the tail; numerous small ocellated white spots on the head and front body, those becoming fewer and larger to rear, only 3-4 large white spots on rear 1/3 of tail; dorsal fin spotted like body, merging to entirely dark at rear, dark outer edge; anal fin without spots, darker at rear than at front; margins of head pores, nostrils and eye of adults ringed with dark color.

Reaches 93 cm.

Lives on soft bottoms.

Depth range: 40-336 m.

S Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
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 only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 93
Depth Range Min
  • 40
Depth Range Max
  • 336