Tag: Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax undulatus)

Of the small number of locally occurring members of the Moray (Muraenidae) family, the Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax undulatus) is the one for which positive identification is the most uncertain.

Of the numerous photos of this species that appear in reference books or websites, not many appear to closely match the species found in local waters.

A general description of the species on the fishbase website suggests a maximum length of around 1.5m and a "distinctive pattern of light undulating lines and speckles on a dark green background".

Some of its other common names, such as Leopard Moray and Mottled Moray throw even more doubt on this identification as it certainly does not appear to have a leopard-like appearance.

These common names and the physical description matches most of the available photos of the species, but do not seem to closely match the species featured here, particularly the undulating lines and speckles.

As, like most Morays, only the head is generally seen, there is the possibility that the markings described above are present, but not visible during most encounters.

Another obstacle to positive identification is the fact that this is a very elusive species which is seldom seen. It appears from time to time at Sail Rock, although is likely to be more widespread.

Until a more confident identification can be made, i will leave this species tentatively named as it is, but i will also include it in the "unidentified" section of the gallery.

Of the small number of locally occurring members of the Moray (Muraenidae) family, the Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax undulatus) is the one for which positive identification is the most uncertain.

Of the numerous photos of this species that appear in reference books or websites, not many appear to closely match the species found in local waters.

A general description of the species on the fishbase website suggests a maximum length of around 1.5m and a "distinctive pattern of light undulating lines and speckles on a dark green background".

Some of its other common names, such as Leopard Moray and Mottled Moray throw even more doubt on this identification as it certainly does not appear to have a leopard-like appearance.

These common names and the physical description matches most of the available photos of the species, but do not seem to closely match the species featured here, particularly the undulating lines and speckles.

As, like most Morays, only the head is generally seen, there is the possibility that the markings described above are present, but not visible during most encounters.

Another obstacle to positive identification is the fact that this is a very elusive species which is seldom seen. It appears from time to time at Sail Rock, although is likely to be more widespread.

Until a more confident identification can be made, i will leave this species tentatively named as it is, but i will also include it in the "unidentified" section of the gallery.

Alan's picture
Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax Undulatus)?

This photo of what i've tentatively accepted as an Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax Undulatus) was taken at the East Pinnacle, Sail Rock.

As suggested in my species description, it is difficult to see if it has the characteristic markings that distinguish this species.

Whatever it is, it certainly knows how to strike a pose...