Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Echidna nocturna, Freckled moray, Palenose moray

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front nostrils orange
brown + rows yellow spots



Echidna nocturna (Cope, 1872)

Palenose moray, Freckled moray

Snout short and jaws short, broad; front nostril tubular, rear one a small hole above front of eye; no canine teeth, molar-like teeth on roof of mouth; jaw teeth blunt becoming molar-like in adults; length of tail very slightly greater than ½ TL; gill opening a small slit at mid-flank; dorsal and anal fins skin covered, but evident; dorsal origin before gill opening,  anal origin immediately after anus; tip of tail blunt, with a skin-covered fin; lateral line pores absent except for 2  pores above and before gill opening.

Dark brown to nearly blackish with scattered white to yellowish spots; front nostrils orange.

Maximum size, 75 cm.

Habitat: rocky and rubble bottoms.

Depth: 1-30 m.

Gulf of California to northern Peru.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Mud
  • Mangrove
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 75
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30