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Echidna catenata  (Bloch, 1795)

Chain moray
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Year 2100
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Echidna catenata   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Echidna catenata (Chain moray)
Echidna catenata
Picture by Wirtz, P.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Muraenidae (Moray eels) > Muraeninae
Etymology: Echidna: Greek, echidna = viper, 1847 (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 12 m (Ref. 9710), usually 0 - 2 m (Ref. 40849).   Tropical

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 165 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26340); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

With short blunt snout, yellow chain-like markings, teeth bluntly pointed or molar-like especially on roof of mouth (Ref. 26938).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Atlantic: Bermuda, Florida (USA), and the Bahamas to the Antilles (Ref. 26340) and Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Cape Verde (Ref. 34514) and Ascension Island (Ref. 4450). The only record from West Africa is probably erroneous (Ref. 4450). Also southern Atlantic islands (Ref. 26938).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A benthic and solitary species (Ref. 26340) found commonly on reefs and rocky shore areas. Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans (Ref. 5521). At Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, off NE Brazil, forages for sally lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus) on exposed reefs at ebb tide and in tide-pools mostly at daytime. Able to withstand up to 30 minutes out of water while foraging, uses four main tactics both in and out of the water. Searches for prey at pool rims and rock bases poking into crevices and holes, stealthily approaches previously sighted prey, chases prey and ambushes prey from under rocks and crevices. Hunting success varies with employed tactic, but overall success is about 50%. May move up to 6 meters in about 1 hour while foraging on the exposed reef. Its crab hunting is mostly visually guided and a fish darting nearby a stealthily foraging moray may cause it to miss the strike; the missed crab may be chased up to 5 m on the reef. Able to strike with its body partly or entirely out of the water, usually strikes from a distance of 5 to10 centimeters. Small crabs are swallowed whole, whereas larger ones are torn apart by a combination of tugging, rotating, knotting, and thrashing movements. Handling time is related to prey size, the largest crabs (carapace width 2.3-3.2 times larger than moray’s head width) broken up and swallowed within 90 to 240 seconds. Attracted to plastic or rubber decoys dragged on a nylon string nearby, striking at these (Ref. 50922).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5005   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00105 (0.00050 - 0.00218), b=3.08 (2.90 - 3.26), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.59 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (69 of 100) .
medium
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.