Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Muraenidae
(Moray eels) > Muraeninae
Etymology: Gymnothorax: Greek, gymnos = naked + Greek, thorax, -akos = breast (Ref. 45335). More on authors: Bloch & Schneider.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 50 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea (Ref. 33390) and East Africa to Papua New Guinea (Ref. 9710), north to southern Japan, south to Australia.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 300 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710)
soft rays: 0;
Vertebrae: 138 - 144. Basically white with black blotches and interspaces forming a honeycomb pattern (Ref. 30404, 48635). Some individuals have a near black overall appearance (Ref. 48635). Blotches variable between individuals and size, often in relation to habitat - those in clear coral reefs usually have proportionally less black than those found in turbid waters (Ref. 30404).
Inhabits reef flats and outer reef slopes of continental reefs (Ref. 9710). One of the two largest of Indo-Pacific morays. Often in holes with cleaner wrasses or shrimps (Ref. 48635). Feeds on cephalopods and small fishes (Ref. 30573). Large adults may be aggressive (Ref. 9710). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 30573.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Chen, H.-M., K.-T. Shao and C.T. Chen, 1994. A review of the muraenid eels (Family Muraenidae) from Taiwan with descriptions of twelve new records. Zool. Stud. 33(1):44-64. (Ref. 6934)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 4537)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.5 - 29.1, mean 28.1 (based on 1258 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00095 (0.00047 - 0.00196), b=3.09 (2.92 - 3.26), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.64 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (86 of 100) .