Peppered Moray Eel

(Gymnothorax pictus)

Gymnothorax pictus, commonly known as the peppered moray or spotted moray, is a species of moray eel found in the Indo-Pacific region. These eels are known for their striking appearance, characterized by a pattern of black spots and dots on a white or cream-colored background. They have a long, snake-like body and can grow up to about 1 meter (3 feet) in length.

Pepped morays inhabit coral reefs and rocky areas, where they can often be found hiding in crevices or burrows during the day. They are nocturnal predators, feeding on small fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Like other moray eels, they have a second set of jaws called pharyngeal jaws, which they can use to grip and manipulate prey items before swallowing them whole.

Despite their fearsome appearance, painted morays are generally not aggressive towards humans unless provoked. They play an important ecological role in their habitat, helping to regulate populations of smaller reef organisms.