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Species: Gymnothorax polygonius, Polygon Moray

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snout & jaws elongate
dark reticulations separating large, pale, spotted
teeth slender, smooth, some canines
roof mouth - 1 row teeth

Gymnothorax polygonius Poey, 1875

Polygon Moray

Body elongate, compressed at rear; tail tapering; snout elongate and pointed, narrowing sharply from a bulbous nape; head and trunk shorter than to slightly >1/2 TL; eye slightly before middle of mouth; front nostril a simple tube; rear nostril a round to oval hole (slightly raised in large fish) at level of profile of head; jaws elongate; lower jaw straight, mouth closes completely; teeth strong, smooth, canines at front of jaws; 2 rows of 5-6 teeth at front of top jaws, closely followed by a single row of 8-12 jaw teeth; roof of mouth with 1 row of 5-12 small teeth; lower jaw with 16-25 pointed teeth; gill opening round to a slit; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but evident; dorsal origin on head, before gill opening.

Body with narrow dark purplish-brown lines separating polygonal, squarish or irregular cream to tan blotches; within the pale areas are numerous pale spots separated by dark reticulating lines; head with pale spots separated by dark reticulating lines; inside mouth purple; margin of anal fin yellow; margin of dorsal fin pale brown.

Reaches 84 cm.

Habitat uncertain.

Depth range: 90-354 m.

E, Central and W Atlantic; N Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-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
  • 84
Depth Range Min
  • 90
Depth Range Max
  • 354