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 author: Bleeker.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 8 - 25 m (Ref. 30874). Tropical; 30°N - 24°S
Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Line and Society islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602)
soft rays: 0;
Vertebrae: 126 - 143. Color yellowish, mottled and irregularly barred with brown shading to whitish ventrally on head and abdomen. Further characterized by body depth at gill opening 18-23 in TL; origin of dorsal fin slightly closer to gill opening than corner of mouth; anus anterior to middle of body; front of upper jaw with three rows of teeth with 3-4 canines on outer row on each side, small teeth in between; two large canines of middle row; side of upper jaw with outer row of small teeth; about four large teeth in inner row; row of small teeth on each side of lower jaw; front of jaw with two pairs of small canines (Ref. 90102).
Occurs at reef flats and outer reef slopes to a depth of at least 20 m. Feeds on fishes, cephalopodes and crustaceans (Ref. 89972). Unlikely to be encountered without the use of ichthyocide (Ref. 1602, 37816, 58302). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Possibly a protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 32169). Common, but highly cryptic and seldom seen (Ref 90102).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Protogyny unconfirmed (Ref. 84746).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25.2 - 29.3, mean 28.4 °C (based on 2518 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00046 (0.00030 - 0.00069), b=3.24 (3.12 - 3.36), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.7 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (54 of 100) .