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Species: Gymnothorax saxicola, Honeycomb Moray

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snout blunt, jaws short
pale polygons separated by dark reticulations
D edge - large, white bordered dark U spots
tail elongate pale spots
top jaw 3 pores
teeth triangular, serrated, no canines
A dark edge

Gymnothorax saxicola Jordan & Davis, 1891

Honeycomb Moray

Body elongate, compressed at rear; tail tapering; head elongate; snout moderate and blunt; mouth moderate; head and trunk shorter than to slightly >1/2 TL; eye large, over middle of mouth; front nostril a simple tube; rear nostril a rimmed hole at level of profile of head; lower jaw straight, mouth closes completely; teeth large, triangular, compressed, serrated, in a single series on jaws; top front of mouth with 1 tooth at center and 2 large teeth on each side behind that, then 8-10 main jaw teeth on each side, those becoming increasingly smaller at rear; back of roof of mouth with a row of small, conical hidden teeth; lower jaw with 9-16 teeth on each side, the first 4 abruptly larger than those behind; gill opening round; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but evident; dorsal origin on head, before gill opening; top jaw with 3 pores.

Brown to yellowish brown ground color forming a network around pale yellowish irregular polygonal spots; honeycomb pattern prominent on back, fainter on sides and belly; some large fish with a series of uniform round spots along mid-side; tail with large, elongated pale areas; tip of tail pale; head with network pattern on top, pale below; a conspicuous dark ring around eye; honeycomb pattern extends onto lower part of dorsal fin, outer half of fin with a strongly defined pattern of large elongated black saddles that are outlined with an undulating white stripe; anal fin dark, sometimes a few pale areas near tail.

Reaches 62 cm.

Lives on soft bottoms and seagrass beds.

Depth range: 2-213 m, usually < 85 m.

New Jersey 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
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
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
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • 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
  • 62
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 213