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Species: Gymnothorax javanicus, Giant moray

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green-brown + scattered dark spots
gill opening in black blotch

Gymnothorax javanicus (Bleeker, 1859)

Giant moray

Body relatively deep, especially adults, tail strongly tapering; anus at or slightly before mid-length; front nostril simple tube; posterior nostril at level of profile of head; lower jaw straight, mouth closes completely; teeth large, stout, sharp, not serrated, 2-3 large canines in single row at front between top jaws; upper jaw side teeth in 1-2 rows, inner row not very large; lower jaw with 3-4 inner canines at front on each side, and a row of small sharp teeth; dorsal and anal fins covered with skin, but very evident.

Green to green-brown; with small squarish black spots on head, larger irregular lichen shaped blackish blotches regularly dispersed over body and fins; gill opening in a large round black spot. Juvenile: head and body with dispersed dark blotches and spots.

Size: 300 cm, 30 kg.

Habitat: rocky and coral reefs.

Depth: 1-50 m.

Indo-Pacific; vagrant at Cocos, NW Costa Rica, western Panama and the northern Galapagos.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Corals
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 300
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 50