Freshwater Moray

Gymnothorax polyuranodon
Freshwater Moray - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Gymnothorax polyuranodon
Other names Blackspotted Moray, Manytoothed Moray, Spotted Freshwater Moray
Size Up to 1.5 m (4.92 ft)
Weight Up to 5 kg (11 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Fresh & brackish waters in creeks & streams near rocks & boulders of deeper pools - marine larvae
Depth Range 0 - 10 m (33 ft)
Freshwater Moray Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The freshwater moray is a species of eel that is found in Australia, particularly in the freshwater rivers and streams of northern Queensland.
  • It has small eyes, a large mouth, and a long, cylindrical body with no scales. The freshwater moray has a dark brown or blackish coloration, and it has a thick, muscular body.
  • It has a unique breathing mechanism, which allows it to take in oxygen through its skin and mouth. This species is capable of surviving in both freshwater and brackish water.
  • The freshwater moray is a nocturnal predator and feeds mainly on fish, crustaceans, and other small aquatic animals.
  • The breeding habits of freshwater morays are not well understood, but it is believed that they migrate to the sea to spawn.
  • The estimated lifespan is between 10 to 15 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing & Aquariums

Freshwater moray eels are not commonly targeted by recreational anglers, but are by certain communities that consider them a delicacy. In addition, some people find freshwater moray eels fascinating and rewarding to keep in their aquariums due to their unique appearance and interesting behaviours.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Anguilliformes

Family: Muraenidae

Genus: Gymnothorax

Species: Gymnothorax polyuranodon

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the freshwater moray is currently listed as “Data Deficient” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This means that there is insufficient information available about the population and distribution of the species to determine its conservation status.

Fish Taste Quality

Freshwater moray are not widely consumed in Australia. They are considered a delicacy in some Asian and Pacific Island countries.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Freshwater Moray

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Fresh cut flesh baits, Lures, Prawns, Worms, Yabbies, Live minnow, Insects

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Keep bait close to structure

Popularity: Targeted

Freshwater Moray
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Very Aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: No

Minimum Tank Size: 250+ gallons

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