Panamic Green Moray Eel, Chestnut Moray Eel
Morena Castana
(Gymnothorax castaneus)

Panamic Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax castaneus: The Panamic Green Moray Eel has an overall brown to green-brown coloration with a few white or yellow flecks on the rear half of the body and dorsal fin.

They have large and distinct anal and dorsal fins with the dorsal origin commencing at the top of the head and well in front of the gill openings.

The Panamic Green Moray Eel is found in the first 100 feet of the water column around rocky reefs. It reaches a maximum length of 6 feet, and is found in most Mexican waters, including around the oceanic islands, with the exception that it is not found north of Magdalena Bay.

The Panamic Green Moray Eel might be confused with the Fine-Spotted Moray, Gymnothorax dovii (omnipresent small white spots covering all parts of the body behind the head), and the Slender Moray, Enchelycore octaviana (beak-like head profile and a body with uniform coloration and no distinguishing marks).

The Green Moray Eel is one of several Moray Eels found in Mexican fishing waters, all belonging to the Muraenidae Family which also includes the Snake Moray Eels.

Panamic Green Moray Eel 1

Panamic Green Moray Eel 2

Panamic Green Morray Eel, Gymnothorax castaneus: Caught during fishing by commercial fishermen in the greater Los Cabos area of Baja California Sur, Mexico.  Size 37 inches.  Identification reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, California. Photos courtesy of John Snow.

Panamic Green Moray Eel 3

Panamic Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax castaneus: Caught while fishing from shore in the late afternoon, in 73-degree water, in May 2003, in 50 foot water, utilizing 15-pound test with a two dropper loop rig, no swivels, 1.5-ounce bank sinker, and Mustad 92553 hooks, size 4, on cut squid at Km. 12, Cabo del Sol, between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur., Mexico. Size approximately 40 inches and 6 pounds. This might be the ugliest species in the Sea of Cortez. Viewed by locals with disdain. Description and photo courtesy John Snow

Panamic Green Moray Eel 4

Panamic Green Moray Eel, Gymnothorax castaneus: A 12-inch juvenile collected by hand from shore between the high tide water debris line and the water in July 2006, water temperature 80 degrees, at Km. 20, Cabo Real, San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Baja California Sur, Mexico. Identification courtesy of Dr. Richard Rosenblatt, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.

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