Moray eels are a unique and unmistakeable predator of many marine environments, and a very interesting pet predator to keep in an aquarium. Some widespread species have natural ranges from one continent to another but often times, the populations that exist at the extremes are frequently discovered to be a distinct species, as is the case for the newly recognized species from South Africa.
Gymnothorax elaineheemstrae is a new species from the southern end of the East African coastline in the western Indian Ocean that was just described by Sithole et. al. G. elaineheemstrae is an indistinct species which has long been confused with Gymnotohorax undulatus, a species known from across the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Compared to the recognizable undulated moray and its pronounced, almost rippling tiger stripes, G. elaineheemstrae is distinct from G. undulatus in having mottled and faintly reticulated color pattern. [ZooTaxa]