Gymnothorax javanicus (Bleeker, 1859)
Giant moray
photo by Patzner, R.

Family:  Muraenidae (Moray eels), subfamily: Muraeninae
Max. size:  300 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 30 kg
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 50 m
Distribution:  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.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; 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. Description: Characterized by body depth at gill opening 12-22 in TL; very deep-bodied large adults; origin of dorsal fin anterior to gill opening; anus slightly anterior to middle of body; not extremely long large teeth; front of upper jaw have 5-6 teeth on each side, some with small teeth between; front of upper jaw with 2-3 teeth at median row; 2-3 inner teeth in small individuals (under 30 cm) at side of upper jaw; a row of small sharp teeth in lower jaw, 3-4 inner canines anteriorly on each side (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  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).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 17 August 2011 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
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