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New Species of Moray Eel

  • 27 Mar 2023
  • 2 min read

Why in News?

Researchers have recently discovered a new species of Moray eel off the Cuddalore coast (Tamil Nadu) and has been named after the state as Gymnothorax tamilnaduensis.

What are the Key Highlights of Discovery?

  • This is the first ever record of this genus, Gymnothorax, collected through an exploration survey conducted along the coastal waters of Cuddalore.
  • 4 specimens (total length 272-487 mm) were collected, and the species is notably different from other species of the genus Gymnothorax.
    • The distinction point is a series of lines of small dark spots present on the head and a single line of black spots on the midline of the body.
  • The name of the species has been registered in ZooBank, the online registration system for the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).

What are the Key Points about Moray Eel?

  • Moray Eels occur in all tropical and subtropical seas, they live in shallow water among reefs and rocks.
  • They are known for two types of jaws: one is regular (oral) jaws with big teeth and the second jaw is called the pharyngeal jaw (which drags prey inside the eels stomach).
  • Their IUCN red list status is Least Concern (LC).
  • Including the newly discovered species, 29 species of Gymnothorax have been documented in Indian waters so far.

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature

  • Founded in 1895, ICZN is tasked to create, publish and periodically revise the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.
  • It provides and regulates a uniform system of zoological nomenclature ensuring that every animal has a unique and universally accepted scientific name.
  • ICZN acts as adviser and arbiter for the zoological community by generating and disseminating information on the correct use of the scientific names of animals.

Source: TH

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