Gymnothorax pictus   (Ahl,  1789) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Max length: 140 cm TL (male/unsexed).

Color: Background color grey or light brownish grey above, white below; small block spots on head, body and tail except ventral surface in front of vent. In small specimens isolated black spots in 4-6 irregular longitudinal rows becoming ring shaped with yellowish centers and ultimately breaking up into smaller spots with age.

Head 6.6-8.0, depth of body 13.0-17.5, both in total length. Eye diameter 9.0-13.2 in head, 1.4-2.0 in snout and 1.2-1.6 in interorbital space. Snout to rictus 2.6-3.2 in head. Tail 1.1-1.3 in head and trunk. Anterior nostrils tubular, on each side of tip of snout; posterior nostrils with raised rims, above anterior border of eye. Teeth all conical, on premaxillary 10-15 in number with inner 1-3 teeth not longer than those on premaxillary; vomerine teeth in 2 series, maxillary teeth in a single series; mandibulary teeth in one row except anteriorly where it is double. Origin of dorsal fin over midway between rictus and gill opening.

True hermaphrodite, external fertilization, nonguarders.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Muraena picta Ahl, 1789
Gymnothorax pictus Jones, 1969
Muraena (Gymnothorax) picta Weber and de Beaufort, 1916
Sideria picta Jones and Kumaran, 1959
Microndonophis polyophthalmus (non Ahl, 1789)
(Misapplied name)
Siderea picta (Ahl, 1789)
(Senior synonym)
Siderea pictus (Ahl, 1789)
(Senior synonym)
Gymnothorax picta (Ahl, 1789)
Sideria picta (Ahl, 1789)

Common Name (s)
• Giant Moray (English)
• Veng (Mahl)
• Malanhi (Malayalam)
• Peppered Moray (English)
• Spotted Moray
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
Reported to cause ciguatera poisoning)

Habitat:  Benthic, Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Small fishes and crustaceans


• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Tinnakara INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Bangaram INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA (Record: 09/02/1987-25/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Andrott INDIA (Record: 06/03/1987-01/04/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA (Record: 06/03/1987-01/04/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Suheli INDIA (Record: 06/03/1987-01/04/1987)

Literature Source(s)
  • 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
  • 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 -
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rajaram, R and Nedumaran, T (2009) Ichthyofaunal diversity in great Nicobar biosphere reserve, Bay of Bengal Journal of Threatened Taxa Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society 1(3) 166-169 Available at -
  • 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 -
  • Kumaran, M; Murty, VS and Lalmohan, RS (1989) Resources of ornamental fishes Marine living resources of the union territory of Lakshadweep: An indicative survey with suggestions for development Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI 43 46-64 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-10-13

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