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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: moray (English), morena (Espanol)
 
Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw & Nodder, 1795)

Guineafowl moray,     White-mouth moray



Robust; anus a little before mid-length; front nostril a simple tube; posterior nostril a hole at level of profile of head; lower jaw straight, mouth closes completely; teeth sharp, teeth in jaws mostly in 2 rows, those across front of top jaws in 5 rows, with a row of larger canines in middle; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but very evident; origin of dorsal midway between gill opening and corner of mouth.

Body and fins yellowish-brown to brown with numerous small, dark-bordered white spots, dense on head, becoming sparser at rear; tip of tail white; gill opening in black blotch; inside of mouth white .


Size: 120 cm.

Habitat: rocky and coral reefs.

Depth: 1-45 m.

Indo-Pacific; vagrant at the Galapagos and Cocos.
   
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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).
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Distribution

Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, TEP non-endemic, Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans), "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific), All Pacific (West + Central + East)

Regional Endemism: All species, Eastern Pacific non-endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Island (s), Island (s) only

Residency: Vagrant

Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
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Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 33390) to Marquesas and Mangaréva, north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to Lord Howe Island.
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Indo-Pacific: East Africa, Algoa Bay (South Africa), Seychelles, Madagascar and western Mascarenes east to Hawaiian Islands, Pitcairn Group, Galapagos Islands and Cocos Island, north to southern Japan, Ogasawara Islands and Minami Tori Shima, south to New
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 1 (S) - 45 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 0; Vertebrae: 127 - 131
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Size

Length max (cm): 120.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 1200 mm TL
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Max. size

120 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Commonly seen by divers, except in Micronesia where it is relatively uncommon. Occurs in coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs from depths of 1 m to at least 36 m. Feeds mainly on fishes, also on crustaceans.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Mouth white inside, contrasting the outer dark skin with small white spots (Ref. 30404, 48635).
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 51 m (Ref. 58302)
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Depth range based on 28 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 22 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.7625 - 30
  Temperature range (°C): 24.549 - 29.282
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.066 - 1.204
  Salinity (PPS): 34.131 - 35.924
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.482 - 4.825
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 0.351
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.057 - 4.752

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.7625 - 30

Temperature range (°C): 24.549 - 29.282

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.066 - 1.204

Salinity (PPS): 34.131 - 35.924

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.482 - 4.825

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 0.351

Silicate (umol/l): 1.057 - 4.752
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 1 - 36m.
From 1 to 36 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Guineafowl moray.  (Shaw & Nodder, 1795) Attains 120 cm. Colour dark purplishbrown covered with small yellow spots, these spots are denser on upper part of body and more sparse on the tail; gill opening black. Indo- Pacific, southern Mozambique south to Algoa Bay. Common in Seychelles & Mauritius. Rare in the Red Sea. Inhabits coral-rich areas of lagoons and seaward reefs. This moray is relatively shy.
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Salinity: Marine, Marine Only

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Bottom, Bottom only

Habitat: Reef (rock &/or coral), Reef only, Rocks, Corals, Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)

FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated
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Trophic Strategy

Occur in coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs from depths of 1 m to at least 36 m. Prefer very shallow depth and juveniles often in intertidal zones (Ref. 30404). In subtropical regions (Ref. 9137); benthic (Ref. 58302). Often seen hunting during low tide among partly exposed reefs (Ref. 48635). Feed mainly on fishes, also on crustaceans, by day and probably also at night (Ref. 3921, 13550). Caught with various nets (Ref. 30573).
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Feeding

Feeding Group: Carnivore

Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs), bony fishes
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Gymnothorax meleagris

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: medium; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
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Wikipedia

Turkey moray

The turkey moray, Gymnothorax meleagris, is a moray eel of the family Muraenidae, found in the Indo-Pacific oceans at depths down to 36 m. Its length is up to 1.2 m. They live in holes in the reef to quickly emerge to grasp passing fish by surprise attack. They sense prey by detecting smell through the water.

References

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