Gymnothorax margaritophorus Bleeker, 1864
Blotch-necked moray
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Muraenidae (Moray eels), subfamily: Muraeninae
Max. size:  70 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 8 - 25 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Line and Society islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0; Vertebrae: 126-143. Color yellowish, mottled and irregularly barred with brown shading to whitish ventrally on head and abdomen. Further characterized by body depth at gill opening 18-23 in TL; origin of dorsal fin slightly closer to gill opening than corner of mouth; anus anterior to middle of body; front of upper jaw with three rows of teeth with 3-4 canines on outer row on each side, small teeth in between; two large canines of middle row; side of upper jaw with outer row of small teeth; about four large teeth in inner row; row of small teeth on each side of lower jaw; front of jaw with two pairs of small canines (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Occurs at reef flats and outer reef slopes to a depth of at least 20 m. Feeds on fishes, cephalopodes and crustaceans (Ref. 89972). Unlikely to be encountered without the use of ichthyocide (Ref. 1602, 37816, 58302). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Possibly a protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 32169). Common, but highly cryptic and seldom seen (Ref 90102).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 17 August 2011 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 15.04.92
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 23.09.14
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 12.05.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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