Richardson's Moray, Gymnothorax richardsonii (Bleeker 1852)

Richardson's Moray, Gymnothorax richardsoni, at Panglao, Central Visayas, Philippines, May 2017. Source: François Libert / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A whitish to pale yellowish-brown moray with a fine dark grey to dark brown mottled to reticular pattern, a paler chin and throat, and white margins around the lip pores.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Gymnothorax richardsonii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Richardson's Moray, Gymnothorax richardsonii (Bleeker 1852)

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Darnley Island, Torres Strait, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-West Pacific: East Africa, Socotra, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius (Mascarenes) east to Society Islands, north to Ryukyu Islands and Ogasawara Islands, south to New Caledonia and Cook Islands.
Inhabits shallow rubble lagoons and reef flats, often under large, loose dead coral pieces and rubble, at depths to 15 m.


Vertebrae 112-117. 
Body depth at gill opening 13-19 in TL; dorsal fin low, origin above or slightly anterior to gill opening; anus at or near middle of body, preanal length 1.9-2.1 in TL; teeth triangular, compressed, slanting backwards (canines absent); median row of 1-3 teeth usually at front of upper jaw; short inner row on side of upper jaw in juveniles and females; short conical teeth on vomer, in two rows in large adults.


Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans.


The species is named in honour of the naturalist John Richardson, for his contributions to the knowledge of eels of the family Muraenidae.

Species Citation

Muraena richardsonii Bleeker 1852, Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 3: 296. Type locality: Wahai, northern Ceram and Padang, western Sumatra, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Richardson's Moray, Gymnothorax richardsonii (Bleeker 1852)


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

Bleeker, P. 1852. Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van de Moluksche eilanden. Visschen van Amboina en Ceram. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 3: 229-309 See ref at BHL

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. 

Castle, P. H. J. & McCosker, J. E. 1986. Family No. 41: Muraenidae. pp. 165-176 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1998. Photo guide to fishes of the Maldives. Victoria, Apollo Bay : Atoll Editions 257 pp.

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. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Smith, D.G., McCosker, J. & Tighe, K. 2019. Gymnothorax richardsonii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T195792A2418446. Downloaded on 13 November 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37060098

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:34 cm TL

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