Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Uropterygius macrocephalus, Largehead snake-moray, Largehead moray, Needle-tooth snake-moray

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

rear nostril = hole over eye
brown + pale mottling
tail-tip yellow
D & A on tail
1 pore above gill opening

Uropterygius macrocephalus (Bleeker, 1865)

Largehead snake-moray, Largehead moray, Needle-tooth snake-moray

Slender, moderately elongate, compressed at rear; tail slightly longer than head & trunk; snout short, ~ conical; eye moderate, over middle of jaws; front nostril tubular; posterior nostril not tubular, is a hole  with a raised rim above front part of eye; gill opening a small slit at ~ mid side; pores above & below eye, along lower jaw, a single minute branchial pore in front of gill opening; teeth conical, slender, sharp, teeth of jaws biserial, those of roof of mouth uniserial, conical, smooth, sharp;  dorsal & anal fins present as skin covered ridges near tip of tail.

Overall brown, usually with mottled pattern evident; tip of tail white to yellowish.

Size: reaches 47 cm.

Habitat: rocky and coral reefs.

Depth: 1-15 m.

Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) and Japan to the eastern Pacific; the Gulf of California to northern Peru.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Corals
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All species
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 47
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 15