Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Anguilliformes
(Eels and morays) > Muraenidae
(Moray eels) > Muraeninae
Etymology: Gymnothorax: Greek, gymnos = naked + Greek, thorax, -akos = breast (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 7 - 50 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical; 30°N - 28°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 80.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602)
Vertebrae: 128 - 142. Adults pale with small black spots on face; black spots proportionally much larger in young (Ref. 30404).
Indo-Pacific: Madagascar (Ref. 33390) to the Society Islands, north to southern Japan (Ref. 559), south to Queensland, Australia; throughout Micronesia.
Occurs in lagoons, reef flats and seaward reefs (Ref. 1602, 48635). Prefers protected inshore waters among dead corals, common in harbors and small caves (Ref. 30404). Probably nocturnal (Ref. 1602). Feeds on fishes and crustaceans (Ref. 9710). Possibly a protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 32169). Current age of a captive individual is 18 years, which exceeds 100 cm and approximately 10 lbs (owner Mark Palermo, pers. comm. 07/12).
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. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00087 (0.00052 - 0.00146), b=3.11 (2.97 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.67 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .