Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Muraena argus, Argus moray, White-spotted moray

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

both nostrils tubular
yellow eye
grey-brown, 3 rows pale blotches, many white dots
D & A: margins white
gill opening in black patch

Muraena argus (Steindachner, 1870)

Argus moray, White-spotted moray

Snout moderate, more or less conical; both nostrils distinctly tubular, rear one over front edge of eye; jaws not arched, mouth completely closable; jaw teeth slender, conical, not serrated, in single row on each jaw; gill opening a small slit in a black spot on mid-side; head and trunk shorter than tail; dorsal fin origin before gill opening; lateral line pores absent except for 1-2 (usually) pores above and before gill opening.

Brown, body with three rows of large irregular yellow-brown blotches and numerous small white spots;  intense black spot covering gill opening; a black spot at rear corner of mouth, not preceded by white; margin of dorsal and anal fin white.

Size: attains 110 cm

Habitat: rocky bottoms.

Depth: 5-120 m

Southern California to  Peru.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 110
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 120