Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gymnothorax castaneus, Chestnut moray, Panamic green moray

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D with few white dots

Gymnothorax castaneus (Jordan & Gilbert, 1883)

Panamic green moray, Chestnut moray

Robust; snout heavy and blunt; front nostril tubular, rear nostril with a raised rim, at level of top head profile; teeth conical, without serrations; top jaw with 1 row of teeth at side and three longitudinal rows of teeth at front; dorsal and anal fins developed as skin-covered ridges, but relatively tall and distinct; dorsal fin origin on top of head, well in front of gill opening.

Brown to brownish green, usually plain, but sometimes with a few white or yellow flecks, mostly on rear half of body, a few on dorsal fin. Juvenile  very dark to blackish, with a whitish border to the dorsal fin.

Size: attains 150 cm.

Habitat: mainly on rocky reefs, although juveniles also occur in mangrove areas.

Depth 1-35 m.

The Gulf of California to Ecuador.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Mangrove
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Corals
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 150
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 35