Y-patterned Moray, Gymnothorax berndti Snyder 1904

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

A Y-patterned Moray, Gymnothorax berndti, from the Kermadec Ridge, New Zealand, depth 278 m. Source: After Fig. 6, in McCosker & Stewart (2006) Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 36(2): 83-95. License: All rights reserved

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. 2020, Gymnothorax berndti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Feb 2021,

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. Louis Berndt, superintendent of the Honolulu fish market, 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. 2020


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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