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Hong Kong Moray Eels

Moray eels are not very frequently seen because they are active at night and hide in crevices, but fisherman catch them quite frequently. HK has at least 15 species. Visually similar though not actually a moray eel of the Muraenidae family, is the pike conger (Muraenesox cinereus) which belongs to the family Muraenesocidae, but I have included it at the end for general interest.

White-margined moray (Enchelore schismatorhynchus)

via WikiCommons

Size: up to 120 cm in length

Areas: around Lamma and Cape d’Aguilar


Laced Moray / Honeycomb moray (Gymnothorax favagineus)

via WikiCommons

Size: up to 180 cm in length

Areas: rocky reefs to at least 10m.

Moderately abundant

Large adults can be aggressive.

Highfin moray (Gymnothorax pseudothyrsoideus)

via Fishbase

Size: up to 80cm in length

Areas: shallow coral communities, rocky reefs, Pavona decussata (a coral) stands.

Moderately abundant.

Reeve’s moray (Gymnothorax reevesii)

via WikiCommons
via WikiCommons

Size: up to 60 cm in length

Areas: shallow coral communities and rocky reefs.

Common. The most numerous species in HK waters.

Scared of divers.

Netted moray (Gymnothorax reticularis)

via WikiCommons

Size: up to 60 cm in length

Areas: shallow coral communities down to greater depths.

Used in traditional Chinese medicine. It’s liver can be mildly toxic.

Richardson’s moray (Gymnothorax richardsoni)

via Fishbase

Size: up to 35 cm in length

Areas: Waglan and Beaufort Islands,  Cape d’Aguilar


Undulated moray (Gymnothorax undulatus)

via WikiCommons

Size: up to 150 cm in length

Areas: Port Shelter


Reportedly aggressive.

Greyface moray (Siderea thyrsoidea)

via WikiCommons
via WikiCommons

Size: up to 66 cm in length

Areas: Sai Kung


Pike Conger (Muraenesox cinereus)

see Common Food Fish of HK post from 2014

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Appreciating Hong Kong's Rich Marine Life


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