Lesser Moray, Gymnothorax minor (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)

Other Names: Reticulated Moray-eel

A Lesser Moray, Gymnothorax minor, in Nelson Bay, New South Wales, November 2014. Source: Tom Davis / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Gymnothorax minor in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/3823

Lesser Moray, Gymnothorax minor (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)

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North of Karratha, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical west Pacific: southern Honshu, Japan to southern China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Inhabits inshore reefs, in bays, harbours and coastal waters.


The Lesser Moray has often been misidentified as Gymnothorax reticularis, a species not found in the west Pacific.

Species Citation

Muraena minor Temminck & Schlegel 1847, Fauna Japonica Vol. 4(14, 15): 269, pl. 115(2). Type locality: Japan. 


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Lesser Moray, Gymnothorax minor (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)


Bauchot, M.-L., Whitehead, P.J.P. & Monod, Th. 1982. Date of publication and authorship of the fish names in Eydoux & Souleyet's zoology of la Bonite, 1841–1852. Bulletin de la Société Française d'Ichtyologie Cybium 3e série 6(no. 3): 59-73 

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 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.53.2001.1325, open access

Böhlke, E.B. & Smith, D.G. 2002. Type catalogue of Indo-Pacific Muraenidae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 152: 89-172 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. (misidentified as Gymnothorax reticularis)

Li, Y., Zhang, L., Zhao, L., Feng, J., Loh, K., Zheng, X., & Lin, L. 2018. New identification of the moray eel Gymnothorax minor (Temminck & Schlegel, 1846) in China (Anguilliformes, Muraenidae). ZooKeys 752: 149–161. doi:10.3897/zookeys.752.24231, open access

Paxton, J.R., Hoese, D.F., Allen, G.R. & Hanley, J.E. (eds) 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Pisces: Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 7 665 pp. (misidentified as Gymnothorax scriptus)

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (misidentified as Gymnothorax reticularis)

Smith, D.G. & Böhlke, E.B. 1997. A review of the Indo-Pacific banded morays of the Gymnothorax reticularis group, with descriptions of three new species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 148: 177-188 

Smith, D.G., McCosker, J. & Tighe, K. 2019. Gymnothorax minor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T195757A2413678. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T195757A2413678.en. Downloaded on 05 October 2019.

Tawa, A. & Mochioka, N. 2009. Identification of aquarium-raised muraenid leptocephali, Gymnothorax minor. Ichthyological Research 56: 340. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-009-0104-3

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1847. Pisces. 248-289 pls 111-128, 129 (in part) in Siebold, P. Fr de (ed.) Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4(14, 15). 

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37060003

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-175 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:55 cm TL

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