Tiger Moray, Gymnothorax enigmaticus McCosker & Randall 1982


Other Names: Enigmatic Moray

A Tiger Moray, Gymnothorax enigmaticus, in the Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua, Indonesia, March 2014. Source: Elias Levy / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution

Summary:
A cream coloured moray with 17-21 distinctive brown bands completely encircling the head and body, and extending onto the fins. The first dark band begins mid-snout and ends at the hind margin of the eye, and is continuous with lower jaw; the second begins at the rictus; tail tip and anterior nostrils are pale like the body coloration. The pale interspaces become mottled in large individuals.
Video of a Tiger Moray, Gymnothorax enigmaticus, in the Philippines.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Gymnothorax enigmaticus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/3560

Tiger Moray, Gymnothorax enigmaticus McCosker & Randall 1982

More Info


Distribution

Kimberley region and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore and Cartier Reefs in the Timor Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland; also Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.

Features

Vertebrae 128-131.Anus before midbody; Anterior nostril tubular, elongate, slightly less than eye diameter in length; teeth in jaws and on vomer uniserial.Dorsal fin low, originating before gill openings.

Colour

Cream coloured with 17-21 distinctive brown bands completely encircling the head and body, and extending onto the fins; pale interspaces of large individuals become mottled; first brown band begins mid-snout, ends at the hind margin of the eye, and is continuous with lower jaw; second begins at the rictus; tail tip and anterior nostrils pale like body coloration.

Etymology

The specific name enigmaticus is from the Latin aenigma (= puzzling, ambiguous,  inexplicable), in reference to the nomenclatural confusion surrounding this species.

Species Citation

Gymnothorax enigmaticus McCosker & Randall 1982, Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 4 43(2): 18, fig. 1. Type locality: off Ngatchab Beach, Angaur Island, Palau.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2021

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Tiger Moray, Gymnothorax enigmaticus McCosker & Randall 1982

References


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

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

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.) Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21

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 

Castle, P. H. J. & McCosker, J. E. 1986. Family No. 41: Muraenidae. pp. 165-176 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. 

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 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

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. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 1. Eels - Snappers, Muraenidae - Lutjanidae. Australia : Zoonetics pp. 1-302.

McCosker, J.E. & Randall, J.E. 1982. Synonymies of Indian Ocean eels, with the description of Gymnothorax enigmaticus, a moray previously known as G. ruppeli. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 4 43(2): 17-24 See ref at BHL

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

Smith, D.G., McCosker, J. & Tighe, K. 2019. Gymnothorax enigmaticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T195722A2407952. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T195722A2407952.en. Downloaded on 05 May 2021.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37060075

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:58 cm TL

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