Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gymnothorax undulatus, Undulated moray

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pale + irregular dark meshwork

Gymnothorax undulatus (Lacepède, 1803)

Undulated moray

Head pointed; tail ~ ½ TL; teeth pointed, smooth; 3 rows of teeth at front of top jaws, with 3 long fangs there; 1 row of teeth at sides of top jaws, sometimes with a few inner canines in small fish; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but clearly evident; dorsal fin high, origin before gill opening.

Usually pale yellowish, but also brown, grey or whitish; head heavily mottled with dark spots, top often greenish yellow; body with large dark blotches separated by diffuse yellowish lines, forming "chain-link" pattern, this pattern more pronounced in juveniles than adults, which are irregularly mottled.

Size: attains at least 150 cm.

Habitat: rocky bottoms.

Depth: 1-60 m.

Widespread in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Americas; Costa Rica to Colombia, and the Revillagigedos Islands.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef only
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 150
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 60