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Biota Neotropica

On-line version ISSN 1676-0611

Biota Neotrop. vol.3 no.1 Campinas  2003 



Activity, habitat utilization, feeding behaviour, and diet of the sand moray Gymnothorax ocellatus (Anguilliformes, Muraenidae) in the south western Atlantic


Atividade, utilização do habitat, comportamento alimentar, e dieta da moréia-de-areia Gymnothorax ocellatus (Anguilliformes, Muraenidae) no Atlântico sudoeste



Flávia Borges SantosI; Ricardo M. C. CastroII

Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências - Universidade de São Paulo, CP 11461, 05422-970 São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. (

IAuthor to whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel:+55-11-3091-7511; fax:+55-19-3232-1745; e-mail:
IILaboratório de Ictiologia de Ribeirão Preto (LIRP), Departamento de Biologia, FFCLRP-Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, e-mail:




Activity, habitat utilization, feeding behaviour, and diet of the sand moray Gymnothorax ocellatus (Anguilliformes, Muraenidae) in the South western Atlantic.

The sand moray Gymnothorax ocellatus is a nocturnal predator from the western South Atlantic that actively forages on the bottom, preying mostly on crustaceans (mainly shrimps and crabs) and ray-finned fishes, which are located primarily by the sense of smell. The individuals stay stationary during the day, almost always being hidden in individual tunnels dug by animals other than the morays in the muddy sand bottom.

Key words:   Muraenidae;  Gymnothorax ocellatus; habitat use; feeding behaviour; diet.


Atividade, utilização do habitat, comportamento alimentar, e dieta da moréia-de-areia Gymnothorax ocellatus (Anguilliformes, Muraenidae) no Atlântico sudoeste.

A moréia-de-areia Gymnothorax ocellatus é um predador noturno do Atlântico ocidental que forrageia ativamente o fundo, predando principalmente crustáceos (em especial camarões e siris) e peixes actinopterígios, os quais são localizados principalmente pelo olfato. Os indivíduos permanecem inativos durante o dia, quase sempre escondidos em túneis individuais escavados por outros animais, que não moréias, em substrato areno-lodoso.

Palavras-chave:   Muraenidae; Gymnothorax  ocellatus;  utilização  do  habitat;  comportamento  alimentar;  dieta.



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Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.



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Date Received 10/18/2002
Revised 01/13/2003
Accepted 03/07/2003

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