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Gymnothorax javanicus  (Bleeker, 1859)

Giant moray
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Image of Gymnothorax javanicus (Giant moray)
Gymnothorax javanicus
Picture by Patzner, R.


Australia country information

Common names: Blackpearl moray, Giant moray
Occurrence: native
Salinity: marine
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Known from North West Shelf, W.A. (Ref. 3132), Gulf of Carpentaria, Great Barrier Reef, Northern Territory and Queensland (Ref. 7300); including the territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Ref. 75154). Also Ref. 4690, 90102.
National Checklist:
Country Information: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, J.R. Paxton and G.R. Allen, 2006
National Database:

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes (Eels and morays) > Muraenidae (Moray eels) > Muraeninae
Etymology: Gymnothorax: Greek, gymnos = naked + Greek, thorax, -akos = breast (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 50 m (Ref. 30573).   Tropical; 30°N - 25°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 33390) to the Marquesas and Oeno Atoll (Pitcairn Group), north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to New Caledonia and the Austral Islands.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 300 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710); max. published weight: 30.0 kg (Ref. 30404)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Vertebrae: 137 - 143. Juveniles are tan with numerous large black spots. Adults have black specks that grade into leopard-like spots behind the head and a black area surrounding the gill opening.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in lagoon and seaward reefs. Commonly seen species along deep drop-offs and slopes in Indonesian waters (Ref. 48635). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Juveniles more secretive and occur on intertidal reef flats (Ref. 37816). It feeds primarily on fishes and occasionally on crustaceans. This is the largest Indo-Pacific moray eel (Ref. 30404), perhaps reaching 3 m in length. Because of its position at the top of the reef's food chain it is often ciguatoxic. Attacks humans when provoked (Ref. 3132). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 10713. Solitary in reef holes (Ref 90102).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Observations on prespawning behavior include a pair entwined around one another lying on the bottom of the reef area (Ref. 93344).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

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. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 25.5 - 29, mean 28.1 (based on 902 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.9   ±0.64 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Fec = 200,000-300,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (85 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.