Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gymnothorax equatorialis, Equatorial moray, Spotted moray, Spotted-tail moray

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brown + white spots
tail spots large (> eye), elongate
long slender tail

Gymnothorax equatorialis (Hildebrand, 1946)

Equatorial moray, Spotted-tail moray, Spotted moray

Head blunt, rounded, snout short and blunt; front nostril tubular, rear nostril ~ flush with head profile; jaws closing completely when shut, not curved and elongate; 3 pores under eye; teeth enlarged, triangular, curved, with serrated rear edge, in a single row in each jaw; no teeth on roof of mouth, or a few inconspicuous teeth hidden by folds of skin; tail tapering and narrow; dorsal and anal fins very low, but forming distinct skin- covered ridges.

Brown, grading to light tan or whitish on ventral surface; head and body

covered with white spots, these very small on head, becoming larger to rear of body, those on tail very large, elongate and widely spaced.

Maximum length about 75 cm.

Habitat: soft bottoms.

Depth: 5-125 m.

The Gulf of California to Peru.

G. phalarus is similar, but has a thicker tail, and the spots on the tail are smaller than the eye and round.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 75
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 125