Blacktail moray

Gymnothorax kolpos

Family Muraenidae - eels, morays

Body elongate, eel-like; color tan to brownish, small white spots on body, tail dark with large white spots; head profile with steep dorsal slope; skin loose, scaleless; dorsal, anal and caudal fins fleshy, continuous, no rays; dorsal fin origin on top or near head; dorsal fin with a black edge, the rest is the same color as the body, no large white saddle-like blotches; jaws not arched, straight; anus positioned midbody, anal fin originates just behind anus; anterior nostrils tubular, posterior nostrils (next to eyes) flush with head; teeth wedge-shaped and serrated; 3 pores along upper jaw; no gill plates, small gill slit on either side of body; no pectoral or pelvic fins.
Similar Species
Of the morays, only the saddled moray (G. conspersus) has a distinct darkening of the tail, but it has large white saddle-like blotches on its dorsal fin (absent in the blacktail moray). Morays can be distinguished from other eel families by the sloping head, the high posterior nostrils and lack of pectoral fins.
Gulf, deep waters, mud or sand bottoms
Maximum Size
79 cm (2 1/5 ft)
Fin Element Counts
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Flesh may contain ciguatera toxin and should not be consumed.
State size/bag limits