Longtail Moray, Strophidon sathete (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)

Other Names: Giant Estuarine Moray, Long-tailed Eel, Slender Giant Moray

A Longtail Moray, Strophidon sathete, on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Roger Steene / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A very large brownish-grey moray with a paler underside.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2024, Strophidon sathete in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4296

Longtail Moray, Strophidon sathete (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)

More Info


Northeast of Lesueur Island, Kimberley Coast, Western Australia, to near the mouth of the Coomera River, Gold Coast, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-West Pacific region: Red Sea, East Africa, Madagascar, and the Mascarenes east to the Society Islands, and Fiji, including the Mariana Islands, north to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands in southern Japan, and south to Australia and New Caledonia.
A reef-associated, solitary, amphidromous species inhabiting burrows in muddy areas in the lower reaches of lagoons, rivers, estuaries and coastal marine waters.


Vertebrae 183-196. 
Body moderately elongate, cylindrical in front, compressed along tail; eyes small; teeth small, biserial, inner series enlarged; head not obviously distinct from trunk although the profile is moderately steep; very large mouth, extending to well beyond eye; biserial sharp teeth on jaws, larger in front and in inner row; dorsal fin inserted on head before gill-opening; scales absent.


A nocturnal species that feeds mostly on crustaceans and small fishes.

Species Citation

Muraenophis sathete Hamilton 1822, An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges: 17, 363. Type locality: Botanical Garden of Calcutta, Ganges River system, India.


Bray, D.J. 2024


Catalog of Fishes

Longtail Moray, Strophidon sathete (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)


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

Bleeker, P. 1854. Ichthyologische waarnemingen gedaan op verschillende reizen in de residentie Bantam. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 7: 309-326 (described as Muraena macrurus, type locality Anjer, Indonesia)

Bleeker, P. 1864. Atlas Ichthyologique des Indes Orientales Néerlandaises, publié sous les auspices du Gouvernement colonial néerlandais. Tome 4. Murènes, Symbranches, Leptocéphales. Amsterdam : Fréd. Müller 132 pp. pls 145-193. 

Böhlke, E.B. 1995. Notes on the muraenid genera Strophidon, Lycodontis, Siderea, Thyrsoidea, and Pseudechidna, with a redescription of Muraena thyrsoidea Richardson, 1845. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 146: 459-466 

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.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

Hamilton, F. 1822. An account of the fishes found in the River Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh : Archibald Constable 405 pp., pls 1-39. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Jordan, D.S. & Evermann, B.W. 1902. Notes on a collection of fishes from the island of Formosa. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 25(1289): 315-368 figs 1-29 (as Evenchelys macrurus)

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

McClelland, J. 1844. Apodal fishes of Bengal. Journal of Natural History. Calcutta 5(18): 151-226 pls 5-14 (described as Lycodontis longicaudata, type locality Bengal)

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, D.G., Tighe, K. & McCosker, J. 2022. Strophidon sathete. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022: e.T195817A2422336. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2022-2.RLTS.T195817A2422336.en. Accessed on 09 January 2024.

Taylor, W.R. 1964. Fishes of Arnhem Land. Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land 4: 44-307 figs 1-68

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37060060


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:May bite

Depth:0-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated, silty areas

Max Size:370 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map