Green moray eels get their distinctive coloration from a layer of yellow mucus that covers their body to help protect against parasites.
  • Size

    5 feet (1.5 m)
  • Diet

    Crustaceans and fishes
  • Range

    Atlantic Ocean
  • Habitat

    Tropical waters near coral reefs, rocky shorelines and mangroves

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is dark brown to green; the body is elongated, muscular and snakelike with a continuous dorsal, caudal and anal fin. Lacks pectoral and pelvic fins.
  • Covered in a layer of yellow mucus to protect against parasites.
  • Large mouth with many teeth. The teeth are large with smooth edges. Pharyngeal teeth located in the throat can move forward into the mouth.
  • Common length: 5 feet (1.5 m); maximum length is 8.2 feet (2.5 m); maximum weight is 64 lbs. (29 kg)


Animal Fact

Green moray eels have a layer of mucus for protection from parasites.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet mainly consists of crustaceans and fish.
  • Nocturnal hunter.
  • May wrap itself in the shape of a knot around prey to pull it into smaller pieces.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from New Jersey to Bermuda and the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and the Eastern Atlantic around the Ascension Islands.
  • Found in tropical waters near coral reefs, rocky shorelines and mangroves, often seen with only the head poking out from a crevice, hole or ledge, in depths up to 164 feet (50 m). Commonly in depths less than 98 feet (30 m).

Reproduction & Growth

  • Oviparous, or egg-laying.
  • Transparent, leaf-like larval stage called a “leptocephalus.”

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Also known as the “green conger.”
  • Solitary and aggressive species.
  • Sense of smell used to locate prey and spawning site.
  • One of the largest moray eel species.
  • Breathe by continuously opening their mouths to pump water over their gills.
  • Used as food in some parts of the world, though large individuals may be toxic.


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