Night Shift

yellowmargined morayYellowmargined moray
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Class: Osteichthys Family: Muraenidae Subfamily: Muraenidae Genus: Gymnothorax Species: flavimarginatus
Scientific name: Gymnothorax flavimarginatus
Common name: Yellowmargined moray
Hawaiian name: Puhi paka

This ubiquitous species is found across the entire tropical Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to South Africa eastward to the Tuamotos, north to the Hawaiian islands, south to New Caledonia. In the Eastern Pacific it ranges from Costa Rica, to Panama and the Galapagos.

Typically, it can be found in most reef habitats such as along drop-offs on seaward reefs, in coral or rocky areas as well as on reef flats and protected shorelines. Primarily it is a nocturnal hunter, although during the day it is quick to respond to opportunities when presented. Its primary prey items include octopods, fishes, and crustaceans. It is one of the first predators to show up as its highly attuned senses identify the occurrence of food or a wounded fish. It is also the one most often recorded attacking divers that reach around in holes and caves with their hands. 

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