Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gymnothorax porphyreus, Lowfin moray

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dense irregular small dark spots
nostrils & head pores dark
teeth smooth
gill opening dark (not black)

Gymnothorax porphyreus (Guichenot, 1848)

Lowfin moray

Head moderate to short (10-14% of TL); head and trunk ~ ½ TL;  snout short and broad; front nostril a short tube;  rear nostril at level of profile of head, just before front edge of eye, raised or in a short tube with a flared, wrinkled margin; mouth moderate; teeth strong, triangular, smooth, in two rows on top jaws, inner row at front of top jaw with 2-5 long canines; usually a single row of 6-12 teeth at front roof of mouth; gill opening a diagonal slit; dorsal fin low, its origin a little before gill opening.
Yellowish to grey-brown, with numerous, small (~ pupil-sized), close-set, often irregularly overlapping dark spots; nostrils and head pores dark; snout and mouth angle dark; gill opening dark but not in a black blotch; fins of small fish with pale margin or pale at rear.
Size: 103 cm.
Habitat: rocky reefs.
Depth: 1-13 m.
The southwest Pacific to the southeast Pacific (Chile) and north to southern Ecuador.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • Pacific only (East + Central &/or West)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Peruvian province, primarily
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Length Max
  • 103