Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Gymnothorax maderensis, Sharktooth Moray

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snout blunt, jaws short
yellow-green + dark wriggly lines
top jaw 4 pores
teeth triangular, serrated, no canines

Gymnothorax maderensis (Johnson, 1862)

Sharktooth Moray

Body elongate, compressed at rear; tail tapering; head large and blunt; 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 raised, wrinkled rim at level of profile of head; lower jaw straight, mouth closes completely; teeth large, triangular, compressed, serrated, with a knob at the rear of the base, in single series on jaws; top front of mouth with 4-6 large teeth on each side, then 5-10 main jaw teeth on each side; back of roof of mouth with 2-7 small, conical hidden teeth; lower jaw with 10-18 teeth on each side; gill opening round; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but evident; dorsal origin on head, before gill opening; 4 pores along top jaw.

Yellowish to greenish, head darker, overlaid by numerous fine brown reticulating lines on head, body and fins; outer edges of fins pale; freshly caught specimens may be covered with lime-green slime.

Reaches 104 cm.

Lives on soft bottoms and on rocky bottoms.

Depth range: 85-357 m.

E and W Atlantic; N Carolina to the NE Caribbean.

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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)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 104
Depth Range Min
  • 85
Depth Range Max
  • 357