Jan Brimacombe

GIANT MORAY juvenile
Gymnothorax javanicus
   Pat Richardson and her sister Jan Brimacombe spotted this tiny eel in a tide pool at Honaunau, Hawai'i. Jan snapped this picture. The eel was about 3 inches long. Although it somewhat resembles a juvenile Undulated Moray (G. undulatus), that ID didn't seem right, especially as Cory Pittman pointed out that juvenile undulatus do not have spots on the head. I was mystified until Bruce Mundy, author of the Checklist of Fishes of the Hawaiian Archipelago, identified it as a probable juvenile Gymnothorax javanicus, based on a published photo by Dr. John E. Randall of a preserved specimen from the Red Sea.* Though quite rare in Hawaii, the Giant Moray does occur here. As far as I know, however, no one has ever reported a juvenile from the Islands, much less photographed one alive. Great sighting, Pat and Jan!!

* Randall, J.E. & Golani, D, 1995. Review of the Moray Eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) of the Red Sea. Bulletin of Marine Science 56(3): 849-880.

Home  |   Fishes   |   Invertebrates   |  Books   |   CDs   |   Links   |   Contact
Text and photos copyright by John P. Hoover