Whitemouth Moray, Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw & Nodder 1795)

Other Names: Guineafowl Moray, Turkey Moray, White-mouth Moray, White-spotted Moray

A Whitemouth Moray, Gymnothorax meleagris, at Lord Howe Island, February 2010. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Gymnothorax meleagris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Mar 2021,

Whitemouth Moray, Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw & Nodder 1795)

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In Australia, known from tropical and subtropical waters of the northwest, and the Great Barrier Reef to Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea; also at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean; depth range 1-53 m. Elsewhere widespread in the Indo-Pacific, from the Western Indian Ocean  to the Central Pacific.
The Whitemouth Moray inhabits coral reefs, and  can be seen poking out from crevices and holes in lagoon and seaward reef areas, even in intertidal depths. Individuals are also often seen hunting on exposed reefs at low tide.



Carnivore - preys mostly on fishes, but also feeds on crustaceans.


Taken with various nets in parts of its range. Reportedly responsible for ciguatera poisoning.


Dianne J. Bray

Whitemouth Moray, Gymnothorax meleagris (Shaw & Nodder 1795)


Allen, G.R. and R.C. Steene, 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island Natural History Association, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, 6798, Australia. 197 p.
Halstead, B.W., P.S. Auerbach & D.R. Campbell, 1990. A colour atlas of dangerous marine animals. Wolfe Medical Publications Ltd, W.S. Cowell Ltd, Ipswich, England. 192 p.
Johnson, J.W., 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37060045

Depth:1-53 m

Habitat:Coral reefs

Max Size:120 cm TL

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