Family: MURAENIDAE, Snake-Moray Eels, Moray Eels
MORAY EELS, SNAKE-MORAY EELS
Morays eels, which range from ~ 15 cm to 3.75 m, are characterized by a very elongate muscular, compressed body; nape elevated; front nostril tubular, rear nostril a hole or tube over or before eye; a large mouth; teeth vary from sharp, needlelike fangs to blunt, flat molars, with numbers of rows on jaws varying and occurrence on roof of mouth varying; snout short to long, slender to heavy; gill opening a hole or slit on mid-side; no pectoral fins; dorsal and anal fins usually are well developed and are continuous with tail fin; lateral line pores absent except for 1-2 (usually) pores above and before gill opening; head pores usually 3 near tip of snout, 4 along top jaw, 6 on lower jaw; no scales.
This circumtropical and temperate, family includes 15 genera and about 190 species, with 21 species in 8 genera in our area.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON & RODOLFO CLARO, AFTER SMITH (2002)