Kwajalein Eels

Eels are common on Kwajalein reefs, but since they typically live deep with reef cracks and crevices or buried in sand, they are often overlooked. Some are very difficult to impossible to photograph since they never or almost never come out into the open. Some species are known in the Marshalls only from specimens collected at "kill stations" where an ichthyocide such as rotenone is used to drive cryptic fish from their lairs in order to be sampled. Eel species known from the Marshalls (and other Micronesian islands) are listed in a checklist in Robert Myers' Micronesian Reef Fishes, supplemented by a listing of new Marshall Islands records published later (Randall et al, 2005). Some of our photos were not taken in the Marshalls; these are indicated in the descriptions of those species.

Muraenidae (Moray Eels)

Echidna nebulosa

Echidna polyzona

Gymnomuraena zebra

Gymnothorax breedeni

Gymnothorax enigmaticus

Gymnothorax fimbriatus

Gymnothorax flavimarginatus

Gymnothorax javanicus

Gymnothorax melatremus

Gymnothorax meleagris

Gymnothorax meleagris

Gymnothorax pictus

Gymnothorax pindae

Gymnothorax rueppelliae

Gymnothorax thyrsoideus

Gymnothorax undulatus

Gymnothorax cf undulatus

Gymnothorax zonipectis

Gymnothorax sp. 1

Gymnothorax sp. 2

Pseudechidna brummeri

Rhinomuraena quaesita male

Rhinomuraena quaesita female

Rhinomuraena quaesita juvenile

Scuticaria tigrina

Uropterygius marmoratus

Ophichthidae (Snake Eels)

Brachysomophis crocodilinus

Brachysomophis henshawi

Callechelys marmorata

Myrichthys colubrinus

Ophichthus altipennis

Ophichthus bonaparti

Congridae (Conger and Garden Eels)

Ariosoma fasciatum

Ariosoma scheelei

Conger cinereus

Gorgasia sp.

Heteroconger hassi

Other eel species (from the three families covered here) that have been reported from the Marshall Islands and listed in the checklist in Myers (1999) include (links are to Fishbase):

Anarchias allardicei Jordan & Starks, 1906
Anarchias cantonensis (Schultz, 1943)
Anarchias seychellensis Smith, 1962
Enchelycore bayeri (Schultz, 1953)
Enchelycore bikiniensis (Schultz, 1953)
Enchelynassa canina (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Gymnothorax buroensis (Bleeker, 1857)
Gymnothorax fuscomaculatus (Schultz, 1953)
Gymnothorax gracilicauda (Jenkins, 1903)
Gymnothorax margaritophorus (Bleeker, 1864)
Gymnothorax marshallensis (Schultz, 1953)
Gymnothorax monochrous (Bleeker, 1856)
Gymnothorax monostigma (Regan, 1909)
Uropterygius consolor Rüppell, 1837
Uropterygius fuscoguttatus Schultz, 1953
Uropterygius inornatus Gosline, 1958
Uropterygius kamar McCosker & Randall, 1977
Uropterygius macrocephalus (Bleeker, 1865)
Uropterygius supraforatus (Regan, 1909)
Uropterygius xanthopterus Bleeker, 1859
Uropterygius xenodontus McCosker & Smith, 1997
Apterichtus klazingai (Weber, 1913)
Brachysomophis crocodilinus (Bennett, 1833)
Callechelys catostomus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Cirricaecula johnsoni Schultz, 1953
Echelus uropterus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1842)
Leiuranus semicinctus (Lay & Bennett, 1839)
Muraenichthys gymnota Bleeker, 1864
Muraenichthys laticaudata (Ogilby, 1879)
Muraenichthys macroptera Bleeker, 1857
Muraenichthys schultzei Bleeker, 1857
Muraenichthys sibogae Weber & deBeaufort, 1916
Myrichthys maculosus (Cuvier, 1816)
Phyllophichthus xenodontus Gosline, 1951
Schismorhynchus labialis (Seale, 1917)
Schultzidia johnstoniensis (Schultz & Woods, 1949)
Schultzidia retropinnis (Fowler, 1933)


Myers, R. F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics, Guam. 330pp.

Randall, J.E., R.F. Myers, M.N. Trevor, S.R. Johnson, J.L. Johnson, S. Yoshii & B.D. Greene. 2005. Ninety-one new records of fishes from the Marshall Islands. Aqua9(3):115-132.

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