Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax funebris
The green moray is actually brown! The yellow tint of the mucus that covers its body, in combination with the drab background color, gives the fish its namesake green color
The moray’s muscular, scaleless body is laterally compressed (flattened side to side).
The moray eel is considered a “true” eel, classified in the Order Anguilliformes. Like other true eels, the moray’s dorsal fin begins just behind its head, extends along the length of its body and is fused with the caudal (tail) and anal fins. The moray eel also lacks both pelvic and pectoral fins.
With long, scaleless bodies, green moray eels are often feared and mistaken for sea serpents.
Green morays are sedentary predators with strong teeth. Rather than hunting for food, they wait until food comes to them.
Part of their vicious reputation may come from the fact that they habitually open and close their mouths, which shows off their sharp teeth. Although this behavior may appear threatening, the eel is actually taking in water to breathe. The water passes over the gills and exits through vent-like openings at the back of the head.
Green Moray Eel Facts
Did You Know?
Green moray eels are often feared and mistaken for sea serpents.
The green moray feeds mostly at night on fishes, crabs, shrimp, octopuses, and squid.
This species is one of the largest morays, with a maximum recorded size of 8 feet and 65 pounds.
The green moray is found in the western Atlantic Ocean from New Jersey to Bermuda and the northern Gulf of Mexico southward to Brazil.
This solitary animal hides among cracks and crevices, along rocky shorelines, and in coral reefs.
The green moray is common throughout much of its range.
Large green morays have few natural predators.
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