PORT PHILLIP BAY


Green Moray 

Gymnothorax prasinus (Richardson, 1848)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: many
Anal fin spines/rays: many
Caudal fin rays: ?
Pectoral fin rays: -
Ventral fin spines/rays: -
Lateral line:
Vertebrae: 134-140

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other mersitics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Body usually very long, slender, with long-based dorsal and anal fins continuous with the tail fin (if present) in all but one species. All species lack pelvic fins, and some groups lack pectoral fins. Scales are usually absent, or if present, are embedded in skin. All species pass through a pelagic, ribbon- or leaf-like larval stage called a leptocephalus larva.

Family level detail.
A large and diverse group of small to large bottom-dwelling eels, mostly found on tropical and subtropical reefs. Their dorsal and anal fins are continuous with the tail and they lack scales, and pectoral fins. They have a reduced lateral line, pore-like gill openings and most have well-developed teeth and often intricate colour patterns.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Anguilliformes
Family:
Muraenidae
Genus:
Gymnothorax
Species:
prasinus

Other Names

  • Brown Reef Eel
  • Green Eel
  • Green Reef Eel
  • Pettifogger
  • Southern Green Moray
  • Sydney Green Eel,
  • Yellow Moray

General Description

Body long, slender, compressed; dorsal and anal fins continuous with the tail; pectoral fins absent; anterior nostril a tube on snout tip. Body greenish to brownish, head often yellowish. Outer surface of upper and lower jaws with an obvious row of pores, and large canine teeth. To 1.5 m.

Biology

Green morays are nocturnal, usually hiding in crevices, caves and under ledges during the day. Curious individuals have been known to bite divers.

Habitat

On rocky reefs in sheltered bays, estuaries and along the coast, in depths of 0-40 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

New Zealand and southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Eels

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1.5 m

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Green Moray, Gymnothorax prasinus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 16 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/10548

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