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Range and habitat
The giant moray is widespread in the Indo-Pacific region, being found in the Red Sea and East Africa, the Pitcairn group, north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to New Caledonia, Fiji and the Austral Islands. It is found in lagoons and seaward reefs.
As the name suggests, this is a large eel, reaching up to 3 m (9.8 ft) in length and 30 kg (66 lb) in weight. While juveniles are tan in colour with large black spots, adults have black specks that grade into leopard-like spots behind the head and a black area surrounding the gill opening.
This species may be hazardous to people in two ways:
- Being at the top of the food chain it is likely to cause ciguatera poisoning if eaten.
- It has been implicated in provoked and unprovoked attacks on scuba divers.
- Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. (2004) Coral reef guide; Red Sea London, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-715986-2
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Gymnothorax javanicus" in FishBase. 5 2007 version.
- Bshary R, Hohner A, Ait-el-Djoudi K, Fricke H (Dec 2006). "Interspecific communicative and coordinated hunting between groupers and giant moray eels in the Red Sea". PLoS Biol. 4 (12): e431. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040431. PMC 1750927. PMID 17147471.
- Siliotti, A. (2002) fishes of the red sea Verona, Geodia ISBN 88-87177-42-2
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