Moluccan Moray, Gymnothorax moluccensis (Bleeker 1864)

Other Names: Moluccan Moray Eel

A Moluccan Moray, Gymnothorax moluccensis, at Koh Phangan, Thailand, January 2014. Source: Chaloklum Diving, Thailand / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A secretive uniformly tan-brownish moray covered in numerous inconspicuous white dots and no pale edges on the fins.

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

Moluccan Moray, Gymnothorax moluccensis (Bleeker 1864)

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Off the North West Shelf, Western Australia, depth 31-90 m. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific: confirmed from the Red Sea, Indonesia, Timor Leste and the Coral Sea.
Inhabits coastal reefs in depths to 25 m.


Body depth (at gill opening) about 17 in TL; preanal length 1.9-2.0 in TL; dorsal fin origin anterior to gill opening; anus distinctly posterior to middle of body; 
Large canine teeth absent; jaw teeth triangular and backward, conspicuously serrate on posterior edge; six intermaxillary teeth in outer row of each side, progressively larger posteriorly, and two in median line; 15 teeth in each side of upper jaw, decreasing in size posteriorly; 18 teeth on each side of lower jaw; small, conical vomerine teeth, biserial anteriorly, becoming uniserial posteriorly.


Allen & Steene (1988) recorded this species form Christmas Island in the Eastern Indian Ocean. However, this record refers to Gymnothorax pindae.


The species is named for the type locality: Ambon Island, Molucca Islands, Indonesia.

Species Citation

Priodonophis moluccensis Bleeker 1864, Nederlandsch Tijdschrift voor de Dierkunde 2: 48. Type locality: Ambon Island, Molucca Islands, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Moluccan Moray, Gymnothorax moluccensis (Bleeker 1864)


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. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp. (misidientifaction of Gymnothorax pindae)

Bleeker, P. 1864. Poissons inédits indo-archipélagiques de l'ordre des murènes. Nederlandsch Tijdschrift voor de Dierkunde 2: 38-54 See ref at BHL

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. 

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

Smith, D.G., Bogorodsky, S.V., Mal, A.O. & Alpermann, T.J. 2019. Review of the moray eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) of the Red Sea, with description of a new species. Zootaxa 4704(1): 1-87. DOI:

Smith, D.G., McCosker, J. & Tighe, K. 2019. Gymnothorax moluccensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T195758A2413821. Downloaded on 07 June 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37060097

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:37 cm TL

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