Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw, 1795)
Turkey moray
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Muraenidae (Moray eels), subfamily: Muraeninae
Max. size:  120 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 51 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa (Ref. 33390) to Marquesas and MangarĂ©va, north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to Lord Howe Island. Southeast Atlantic: South Africa.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0; Vertebrae: 127-132. Mouth white inside, contrasting the outer dark skin with small white spots (Ref. 30404, 48635). Description: Characterized by body depth at gill opening 11-18 in TL; tail tapering only slightly until posterior most portion; origin of dorsal fin about midway between gill opening and corner of mouth; anus anterior to middle of body; two rows of jaw teeth; teeth at front of upper jaw in five rows; longer canines in middle row than outer rows; inner row of 7-12 smaller canines at side of upper jaw (Ref. 90102). Predorsal vertebrae 4-6 (Ref. 92337).
Biology:  Occurs in coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs from depths of 1 m to at least 36 m. Prefers very shallow depth and juveniles often in intertidal zones (Ref. 30404). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Often seen hunting during low tide among partly exposed reefs (Ref. 48635). Feeds mainly on fishes, also on crustaceans, by day and probably also at night (Ref. 13550). Caught with various nets (Ref. 30573).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 17 August 2011 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 15.04.92
Modified by: Torres, Armi G. - 17.01.14
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 Not for publication.

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