Gymnothorax richardsonii (Bleeker 1852)

A pale brown moray with darker mottling, a lighter chin and throat, and white margins around the lip pores.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Gymnothorax richardsonii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Feb 2021,

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. 


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. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

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

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map