Gymnothorax javanicus   (Bleeker,  1859) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Winterbottom, R.

Max length: 300 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Max. weight reported: 30 kg

Color: Brownish, lower sides of belly lighter. Numerous black spots on head, trunk and tail excepting lower sides of head and belly, spots on head smaller. Gill opening in a black blotch. Corner of mouth dark.

Head 8, depth of body 11, both in total length. Head about 2.8 in trunk, head and trunk slightly longer than tail. Eye nearer to tip of snout than to corner of mouth, about 14.5 in head, 2.4 in snout and 2 in interorbital space. Cleft of mouth 2.3 in head. Anterior nostril in a short tube, posterior nostril with slightly raised rim. Mouth can be completely shut. Teeth uniserial, 18-19 on side of each jaw, premaxillary with 2 inner median fang-like teeth, vomerine band of teeth short and bifurcated anteriorly. Gill opening about 1 ½ of eye diameter. Dorsal fin moderately high, its origin on rear of head about equidistant between rictus and gill opening.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers.

This is the largest Indo-Pacific moray eel.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Muraena javanica Bleeker, 1859
Gymnothorax javanicus Jones and Kumaran, 1965
Lycodontis javanicus Smith, 1962
Muraena (Gymnothorax) flavimarginata Weber and de Beaufort, 1916
Lycodontis javanicus (Bleeker, 1859)
(Senior synonym)
Muraena javanica Bleeker, 1859
(Senior synonym)
Gymnothorax javonica (Bleeker, 1859)

Common Name (s)
• Giant Moray (English)
• Karimalanhi (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, public aquariums.
Reported to cause ciguatera poisoning. Attacks humans when provoked)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Feeds primarily on fishes and occasionally on crustaceans.


• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Karnataka, Netrani Island INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1965) New records of fishes from the seas around India - Part III Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India 7(2) 381-400 Available at -
  • Thomas, S; Sreeram, MP; Kakati, VS; Manisseri, MK and George, RM (2011) Coral fish diversity in Netrani waters off Murudeshwar Karnataka, south India Indian journal of fisheries CMFRI 58(1) 45-51 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-05-11

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