Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Muraena clepsydra, Hourglass moray

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both nostrils tubular
brown + dense cream spotting
rear lower jaw: black & white spot
gill opening in large black ocellus

Muraena clepsydra Gilbert in Jordan & Evermann, 1898

Hourglass 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 with dense covering of irregular cream- colored spots; a large (equal to 2.5 times size of eye diameter or more) ocellated black spot covering gill opening; a black spot at rear corner of mouth preceded by white area on the lower jaw; young with 5-6 series of small hourglass-shaped spots.

Size: largest about 97 cm

Habitat: rocky bottoms.

Depth: 0-25 m

The tip of Baja to northern Peru.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • 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
  • 97
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 25