Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gymnothorax pictus, Paint-spotted moray, Peppered moray

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white + dense black spots

Gymnothorax pictus (Ahl, 1789)

Peppered moray, Paint-spotted moray

Elongate, anus at mid-length; posterior nostrils not tubular, at most a raised rim; teeth on jaws mostly in 1 row, short and conical at front, compressed and triangular along sides; 2 rows that diverge anteriorly on roof of mouth; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but clearly evident; dorsal fin origin ~ above level of gill opening.

White with dense covering of irregularly arranged small black spots on head; body with dark spots more regularly arranged in large blotches separated by thin pale areas; juveniles with spots clustered into large, pale centered blotches arranged in several longitudinal rows.

Size: to 140 cm.

Habitat: rocky bottoms.

Depth: 0-5 m.

Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Americas; Costa Rica and Panama, and most of the offshore islands.

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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)
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Length Max
  • 140