Gymnothorax unicolor

Author: Delaroche, 1809

Gymnothorax unicolor Delaroche, 1809

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Gymnothorax unicolor (Delaroche, 1809) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body elongate, cylindrical, slightly compressed behind anus, maximum height about 6% TL; anus slightly before middle of TL. Head short, with dorsal profile depressed over eye; anterior nostril tubular, posterior nostril opening in an oval or round pore with a low rim over anterior eye margin. Teeth caniniform, subequal, acute, bisenal in maxillae; in premaxillae 1 (or 2) horseshoe row and 1-3 median teeth; vomerine teeth short and blunt, uniserial. Gill opening restricted to small roundish lateral pore. Dorsal and anal fins confluent with caudal fin; dorsal fin origin well before gill opening; pectoral and pelvic fins absent. Vertebrae 136-146. Colour: brown more or less dark, sometimes brick red; snout and lower lip dark; a light ochre band behind rictus; gill openings, cephalic pores and lips black-edged. Fins brown, edged with light ochre. Size: over 1 m.

Habitat: benthic on shelf, on rocky coasts, rough sand, gravel, crevices, small caves and shadowed zones. Food: carnivorous (crabs, gasteropods and cephalopods). Reproduction: spawning in warm hydrologica season; eggs 2.3 to 3.4 mm diameter; leptocephali described by Blach (1971, 1977) in Gulf of Guinea.

Distribution: eastern Atlantic from south coast of Portugal southward, to Morocco, the Azores and Madeira; also Mediterranean.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Strömman, 1896: 24, pl. 2 (fig. 1-3) (Leptocephalus forsstromi part.) | Sanzo, 1905: 312 | Lo Bianco, 1909: 731 | Grassi, 1912: 19; 1913: 194, pl. 8 (fig. 11-13,18), pl. 12 (fig. 33), pl. 13 (fig. 9), pl. 14 (fig. 16) | Regan, 1916a: 141, pl. 7 (fig. 7), probably larva of Lycodontis mareei (Poll, 1954) | Ancona, 1928a: 519, 1931d: 148, fig. 151-155 (not fig. 154) | Bertin, 1936a: 7, fig. 8 | Thomopoulos, 1954a: 8 | Castle, 1969: 22, 40 | Blache, 1977: 49 (leptocephali).
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.