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: Shaw.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 51 m (Ref. 58302). Tropical; 38°N - 36°S, 18°E - 129°W
Indo-Pacific: East Africa (Ref. 33390) to Marquesas and Mangaréva, north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to Lord Howe Island. Southeast Atlantic: South Africa.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 120 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602); common length : 80.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573)
Occurs in coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs from depths of 1 m to at least 36 m. Prefers very shallow depth and juveniles often in intertidal zones (Ref. 30404). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Often seen hunting during low tide among partly exposed reefs (Ref. 48635). Feeds mainly on fishes, also on crustaceans, by day and probably also at night (Ref. 13550). Caught with various nets (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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.5 - 29, mean 28 °C (based on 1172 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00060 (0.00039 - 0.00093), b=3.32 (3.20 - 3.44), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.70 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
): High to very high vulnerability (69 of 100) .