New moray eel described


A new species of moray eel has been described from the Red Sea in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa.

The new species, named Gymnothorax baranesi by David Smith, Eran Brokovich and Shai Einbinder, is distinguished from other members of the genus in having a combination of: colour pattern consisting of irregular, complex, rosette-like pale spots on a brown background, with the spots becoming smaller on head; intermaxillary teeth in one peripheral and one median row; maxillary teeth in 1"2 rows, the inner row, when present, consisting of only two depressible teeth.; mandibular teeth in one row; and predorsal, preanal and total vertebrae 6"7, 52"55 and 137"142 respectively.

Gymnothorax baranesi is named after Albert Baranes, in recognition of his contributions to the ichthyology of the Red Sea, and is known only from relatively deep water (ca. 200 m) in the northern Red Sea.

For more information, see the paper: Smith, DG, E Brokovich and S Einbinder (2008) Gymnothorax baranesi, a new moray eel (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) from the Red Sea. Zootaxa 1678, pp. 63"68.