Pinda Moray, Gymnothorax pindae Smith 1962

A Pinda Moray, Gymnothorax pindae, from Mururoa Atoll, French Polynesia, USNM 408155. Source: Jeffrey T. Williams / Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A uniformly brownish moray becoming black towards the rear, with a dark brown eye region, slightly blackish nostrils, pores on jaws and gill opening, whitish lateral-line pores, and a uniformly whitish inner mouth.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Gymnothorax pindae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

Pinda Moray, Gymnothorax pindae Smith 1962

More Info


Offshore reefs of NW Western Australia to Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea to Swains Reefs, Queensland; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits reef flats, lagoons and seaward reefs at depths to 43 m.


Preanal length 2.2–2.5 in TL, predorsal length 6.6–11 in TL, head length 6.5–8.3 in TL, body depth at anus 15–24 in TL. In Snout length 4.1–6.8 in HL, eye diameter 6.8–11 in HL, upper-jaw length 2.2–3.2 in HL. Pores: LL 2, SO 3, IO 4, POM 6. Vertebrae 118–123.
Body moderately stout; anus situated before midlength; dorsal-fin origin before gill opening. Snout relatively short and tapering, jaws of equal length. Eye moderate, over middle of upper jaw. Anterior nostril long and tubular, reaching edge of lip when depressed; posterior nostril above anterior margin of eye. 
Intermaxillary teeth in a single peripheral series, 6–7 on each side, triangular, increasing in size posteriorly; 1–3 median teeth, long, conical. Maxillary teeth uniserial in larger specimens, biserial in smaller specimens. Dentary with 1–3 larger inner teeth anteriorly, an outer row of smaller teeth, decreasing in size posteriorly. Larger teeth anteriorly in jaws serrate. Vomerine teeth uniserial or slightly staggered, small and inconspicuous.

Dorsal and anal fins high, dorsal fin height up to half body depth. 


The species is named for the type locality: Pinda, Mozambique.

Species Citation

Gymnothorax pindae Smith 1962, Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute, Grahamstown 23: 430, pl. 55d. Type locality: Pinda, Mozambique.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Pinda Moray, Gymnothorax pindae Smith 1962


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp. (misidentified as Gymnothorax moluccensis)

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Böhlke, E.B., McCosker, J.E. & Smith, D.G. 1999. Family Muraenidae. pp. 1643-1657 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068. 

Böhlke, E.B. & McCosker, J.E. 2001. The moray eels of Australia and New Zealand, with the description of two new species (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae). Records of the Australian Museum 53: 71-102 figs 1-10 

Chen, H.-M., Shao, K.-T. & Chen, C.-T. 1994. A review of the muraenid eels (family Muraenidae) from Taiwan with descriptions of twelve new records. Zoological Studies 33(1): 44-64. See ref online

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 

Moore, G.I., Morrison, S.M., Hutchins, B.J., Allen, G.R. & Sampey, A. 2014. Kimberley marine biota. Historical data: fishes. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 84: 161-206 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Smith, J.L.B. 1962. The moray eels of the western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute, Grahamstown 23: 421-444 figs 1-6 pls 53-62

Smith, D.G., McCosker, J. & Tighe, K. 2019. Gymnothorax pindae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T195777A2416571. Downloaded on 07 June 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37060048

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-43 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:39 cm TL

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