By Bob Goemans
Site Supported in Part by:


Gymnothorax meleagris

(Shaw, 1795)

Whitemouth Moray, Comet Moray, Guineafowl Moray

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: East Africa and the Red Sea to the Galapagos, north to Southern Japan and Hawaiian Islands, and south to Lord Howe Island.

Size: 48 inches (120 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits coral rich lagoons, reef faces and fore-reef slopes at depths between 3 to about 100 feet (1 – 30 m) and stays under rocks and/or in caves, yet feeds both during daytime and nighttime on smaller fishes and crustaceans.

General Husbandry: Rarely seen in the trade, having a bright white mouth, and either a dark brown body with small white spots, or a golden brown body with whitish spots.

Best maintained in a dimly lit aquarium having live rock, hiding places/caves, and tankmates large enough not to be eaten.

As to diet, fresh fish and/or crustacean flesh impaled on a long feeding stick and waved near its head, which usually sticks out of a hiding area, will entice it to grab the food and should be offered twice weekly.


    Order: Anguilliformes

    Suborder: Muraenoidei

    Family: Muraenidae

    Subfamily: Muraeninae

    Genus: Gymnothorax

FYI: Avoid hand feeding!

May eat ornamental crustaceans.

May be difficult to get feeding, if so, try feeding live ghost/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs.

Aquarium must be covered, as they can get out of the aquarium through very small openings. It’s an escape artist.

Rockwork in the aquarium should be quite stable, as they can undermine rock structures and cause their collapse.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Coral Safe: Yes

Fish Safe: With caution

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Semi-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (22 – 28°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Gymnothorax meleagris (Whitemouth Moray, Comet Moray, Guineafowl Moray)
Photo © Bob Goemans
Site Supported in Part by: