Actinopteri (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: Jordan & Gilbert.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 36 m (Ref. 5227). Tropical; 32°N - 2°N
Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9324)
Lives in rocky, boulder strewn areas and walls. Lurks in holes, crevices and dark recesses during day; forage in the open at night. Constantly opens and closes its mouth--an action required for respiration, not a threat (Ref. 5227). May occasionally wander into open sandy areas about 10-20 m from cover. Feeds mainly on crustaceans and fishes and are highly responsive to stimuli emanating from wounded or distressed prey at distances exceeding 20 m (Ref. 28023).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
McCosker, J.E. and R.H. Rosenblatt, 1995. Muraenidae. Morenas. p. 1303-1315. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9324)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 20.7 - 28.5, mean 25.8 °C (based on 34 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00048 (0.00026 - 0.00088), b=3.27 (3.12 - 3.42), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.67 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 (81 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 24.1 [13.3, 42.6] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.336 [0.185, 0.582] mg/100g ; Protein = 19.8 [17.6, 22.1] % ; Omega3 = 0.114 [0.051, 0.303] g/100g ; Selenium = 54.2 [30.0, 106.4] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 56.5 [15.3, 186.5] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.818 [0.558, 1.156] mg/100g (wet weight);