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Muraenidae
MORAY EELS
Reef eels

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Gymnothorax phalarus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax phalarus
Gymnothorax eurygnathos
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax eurygnathos

Gymnothorax panamensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax panamensis
Gymnothorax
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax

Gymnothorax dovii
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax dovii
Gymnothorax dovii
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax dovii

Gymnothorax equatorialis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax equatorialis
Gymnothorax undulatus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax undulatus

Gymnothorax castaneus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax castaneus
Gymnothorax castaneus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Gymnothorax castaneus

Echidna nebulosa
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Echidna nebulosa
Echidna nocturna
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Echidna nocturna

Echidna nocturna
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Echidna nocturna
Anarchias galapagensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Anarchias galapagensis

Muraenidae
© Copyright Clay Bryce, 2006 · 0
Muraenidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • front nostril tubular
  • ll: head only
  • rear nostril above mid-eye level
  • no pectorals
  • dorsal, anal and tail fins continuous
FAMILY MURAENIDAE

MORAY EELS, SNAKE-MORAY EELS

Morays eels are characterized by a very elongate muscular, compressed body and large mouth. This large assemblage is very diverse with regards to head shape, dentition, color pattern, and maximum size. All species lack pectoral fins and scales. There is great variation in the height of the dorsal and anal fins, which are continuous with the tail fin (or absent in the genera Anarchias, Scuticaria and Uropterygius). Morays in the genus Echidna have blunt teeth (flat and molar-like in some species) that are adapted for crushing crabs and molluscs. Most of the other species have sharp needle-like fangs that in larger morays are capable of inflicting deep, painful wounds. Fortunately most species are not aggressive, but it is unwise for divers to thrust their hands blindly into crevices and holes in the reef. This action can sometimes provoke an attack, as will the feeding of large morays with fish baits. Normal prey items of morays include fishes and a variety of invertebrates such as crabs, shrimps, and octopuses.

This cincumtropical and temperate, family includes 15 genera and about 200 species, with 28 species in 9 genera in our area.


References
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Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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