Green Moray Eel

Green Moray Eel

Gymnothorax funebris

DID YOU KNOW?

Green moray eels are often feared and mistaken for sea serpents.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Atlantic Coral Reef

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Green Moray Eel

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 dorsal and anal fins are continuous with the short tail, or caudal fin, giving the appearance of a single fin running from the top of the head, along the back, around the tail, and underneath forward to mid-body.

It has neither pelvic nor pectoral fins. The green moray has tube-like nostrils and uses its sense of smell to locate prey.

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

Diet

The green moray feeds mostly at night on fishes, crabs, shrimp, octopuses, and squid.

Size

This species is one of the largest morays, with a maximum recorded size of 8 feet and 65 pounds.

Range

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.

Population Status

The green moray is common throughout much of its range.

Predators

Large green morays have few natural predators.

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Jack Cover
General Curator

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As the General Curator, Jack's role is to ensure that our living animal collections are thriving and diverse, to best exhibit the beauty of the wild habitats we represent here at the Aquarium. Learn More

A Note From the Caretaker

During the daytime, green morays are sedentary or sit-and-wait predators. At night, they are more active, hunting through the reef for their meal.

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