Y-patterned Moray, Gymnothorax berndti Snyder 1904

Other Names: Berndt's Eel, Berndt's Moray Eel

A Y-patterned Moray, Gymnothorax berndti, at Lion Rock, Far North New Zealand, March 2020. Source: lcolmer / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A large stout pale grey to pale tan moray with fine dark brown lines and reticulations, overlain with 29-35 irregular narrow dark brownish bars, wider dark bars and a white posterior margin on the dorsal fin, a broad irregular dark brown basal stripe and a conspicuous white margin on the anal fin, and dark speckling inside the mouth.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Gymnothorax berndti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5386

Y-patterned Moray, Gymnothorax berndti Snyder 1904

More Info


Off Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, and south of Myrmidon Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific: Maldives, Mauritius, Japan, Taiwan, Western Australia, New Caledonia, the northern Kermadec Ridge, New Zealand, east to Hawaii. 
Inhabits deep reefs, preferring rocky and sponge areas.


Depth behind gill opening 11-14 in TL; tail 1.8-2.0 in TL; head long, elevated behind eye, 6.6-7.3 in TL; eye small, above mid-jaw, 10-13 in HL; anterior nostril in a long tube; origin of dorsal fin midway between gill opening and snout tip. Teeth large and uniserial, well-spaced, not serrated; outer maxillary teeth slightly larger than those of inner row; median fangs depressible; 10-16 maxillary teeth; 8-10 vomerine teeth; 16-24 on dentary. Total vertebrae 134-139.


The species is named in honour of Mr. E. Louis Berndt, "the efficient inspector of fisheries in Honolulu”.

Species Citation

Gymnothorax berndti Snyder 1904, Bull. U. S. Fish Comm. 22 [1902]: 518, Pl. 4 (fig. 8). Type locality: Hololulu market, Oahu Island, Hawaiian Islands.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Y-patterned Moray, Gymnothorax berndti Snyder 1904


Chen, H.-M., Shao, K.-Y. & 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.

Masuda, H., Amaoka, K., Araga, C., Uyeno, T. & Yoshino, T. (eds) 1984. The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokyo : Tokai University Press Vol. 1–2 437 pp. 247 figs 370 pls. 

McCosker, J. E. & Stewart, A.L. 2006. Additions to the New Zealand marine eel fauna with the description of a new moray, Anarchias supremus (Teleostei: Muraenidae), and comments on the identity of Gymnothorax griffini Whitley & Phillips. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 36(2): 83-95.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 pls. 

Randall, J.E. 2007. Reef and shore fishes of the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawai'i 546 pp. 

Sih, T.L., Cappo, M. & Kingsford, M. 2017. Deep-reef fish assemblages of the Great Barrier Reef shelf-break (Australia). Scientific Reports 7(10886): 1-18

Smith, D.G., McCosker, J. & Tighe, K. 2019. Gymnothorax berndti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T195711A2406424. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T195711A2406424.en. Downloaded on 18 September 2020.

Stewart, A.L. & McCosker, J.E. 2015. 38 Family Muraenidae, pp. 224-237 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Snyder, J.O. 1904. A catalogue of the shore fishes collected by the steamer Albatross about the Hawaiian Islands in 1902. Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 22: 513-538 figs 1-13 [518, pl. 4 See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:30-303 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:97 cm TL

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