Echidna nebulosa   (Ahl,  1789) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Size: 50-100 cm.

Color: Variable, but typically yellowish-brown with 2 or 3 longitudinal series of darker, star-shaped spots along the body, each with a yellow center, the spots variably combined to form vertical bands; smaller spots and mottlings occur between the starry blotches.

Head 8.6-10.0, depth of body 15.5-18.2, both in total length. Head 3.1-4.2 in trunk. Tail slightly shorter than head and trunk. Eye diameter 9.1-11.4 in head, 1.5-2.0 in snout and 1.3-1.6 I interorbital space. Cleft of mouth 2.9-3.3 in head, reaching far behind eye. Dorsal beginning before gill openings, its height about 4 times in height of body. Teeth in the upper jaw uniserial, small, bluntly conical, in young specimens pointed, recurved and with a short inner series of 3 to 4 teeth. On the intermaxillary plate two large granular mesial teeth, inside of a semicircle of 10-12 similar but somewhat smaller teeth. On vomer 2 parallel series of about 6-10 teeth of different size, mostly granular, in young specimens each series is anteriorly curved outwards and reaches the border of the upper jaw. Teeth in the lower jaw of old specimens in two series, in younger ones only anteriorly so, those in the inner row larger. Anterior nostrils tubular, on each side of tip of snout; posterior nostrils with raised rims before a level from the anterior border of eye.
Feeds mainly on crustaceans.

Protogynous, external fertilization, nonguarders.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Echidna variegata Bleeker, 1864
Gymnothorax boschi (Bleeker, 1853)
Gymnothorax boschii (Bleeker, 1853)
Lycodontis boschi (Bleeker, 1853)
Muraena nebulosa Ahl, 1789
Muraena nebulsa Ahl, 1789
Muraena ophis Ruppell, 1830
Poecilophis nebulosa (Ahl, 1789)
Gymnothorax echidna Bloch, 1801
Echidna variegata J. R. Forster, 1844
Thaerodontis ophis McClelland, 1844
Muraena variegata Richardson, 1844
Muraena variegata Bleeker, 1852
Poecilophis variegata Kaup, 1856
Poecilophis variegata Kner, 1867
Muraena nebulosa Gunther, 1870
Muraena nebulosa Klunzinger, 1871
Muraena nebulosa Day, 1888
Echidna nebulosa Jordan and Evermann, 1905
Muraena nebulosa Gunther, 1910
Echidna nebulosa Weber and de Beaufort, 1916

Common Name (s)
• Malanhi
• Mouveng
• Starry Moray (English)
• Bosch Moray Eel (English)
• Boschs Moray (English)
• Floral Moray (English)
• Nebulous Moray Eel (English)
• Snowflake Eel (English)
• Snowflake Moray (English)
• Zebra Moray (English)
• White Moray (English)
• Pulli Galgulla (Sinhala)
• Saulinga Pam (Telugu)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium, ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Benthic, Reef Associated, Rocky, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Crustaceans


• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Bangaram INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA (Record: 06/03/1987-01/04/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Suheli INDIA (Record: 06/03/1987-01/04/1987)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Chatterjee, TK; Talukdar, RS and Mukherjee, AK (2000) Fish and fisheries of Digha coast of West Bengal Occasional paper no 188 Records of the Zoological Survey of India 31778 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Nagabhushanam, AK and Krishnan, S (1993) Observations on the distribution of some of the marine organism inhabiting the inter-tidal zone along the western continental shelf of the Bay of Bengal, with particular reference to the Tamil Nadu coastal strip Records of the Zoological Survey of India 93(3-4) 449-490 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • (2004) AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation University of California at Berkeley, USA Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1916) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A.J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 3 455 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 3 Available at -
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rajaram, R and Nedumaran, T (2009) Ichthyofaunal diversity in great Nicobar biosphere reserve, Bay of Bengal Journal of Threatened Taxa Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society 1(3) 166-169 Available at -
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Kumaran, M; Murty, VS and Lalmohan, RS (1989) Resources of ornamental fishes Marine living resources of the union territory of Lakshadweep: An indicative survey with suggestions for development Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI 43 46-64 Available at -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-02

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