Yellow mouth Moray Eel

Family, Genus, Class & Etymology

Family    Muraenidae
Description    Moray eels
Environment    Fresh, Brackish & Marine
Etymology    Latin, muraena = morey eel
Genus    16
No. of Species    199
Order    Anguilliformes
Class    Actinopterygii
Reproductive Guild    Nonguarders
Distribution    Worldwide in tropical and temperate seas. Diverse group of eels with large mouths with numerous teeth; often with fanglike (canine) teeth. Dorsal fin origin usually before the gill openings; median fins confluent with caudal fin; no pelvic and pectoral fins. Gill openings as small roundish lateral openings. Head with 1-3 lateral line pores; absent on body. Scaleless. Recorded maximum length 3.0 m. Some morays cause ciguatera fish poisoning. A skin toxin was noted in an Indo-Pacific moray eel. Adults benthic, generally in shallow water among rocks and coral heads; many species are more active at night and hide in holes and crevices during the day. Vicious reputation is undeserved, although some species will bite if provoked. Feed mainly on crustaceans, cephalopods and small fishes. Larvae (leptocephali) epipelagic, widespread and abundant. Widely used as food, but a few large species may be ciguatoxic. Generally hardy in captivity. Leptocephali showed curling behavior which make them resemble gelatinous zooplankton in observations made at Osprey Reef, Coral Sea. This behavior could be an evolved response to threats by potential predators according to the study