Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Cephalopholis: Greek, kephale = head + Greek, pholis = scale (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 1 - 30 m (Ref. 89707), usually 1 - 15 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical, preferred ?; 36°N - 34°S, 30°E - 143°E (Ref. 5222)
Indo-West Pacific: western India to Philippines, north to southern Japan (Honshu), south to northern Australia. 'Epinephelus formosus' from Madagascar (Ref. 6457), Réunion and Mauritius (Ref. 6458) are probably based on misidentifications of Cephalopholis polleni. Confused with Cephalopholis boenak.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 17.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 34.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4787)
soft rays: 7 - 8. Characterized by: dark brown to yellowish brown color with narrow blue stripes; body with ctenoid scales, including abdomen; greatest depth of body 2.5-2.9 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins, 1.6-2.0 in head length (Ref. 90102): head length 2.4-2.6 in SL; preorbital depth 3.6-4.3% SL, more than half maxilla width; convex interorbital area; rounded preopercle, finely serrate, lower edge fleshy; smooth subopercle and interopercle; maxilla naked, reaching to or just past vertical at rear edge of eye (Ref. 089707).
Like C. boenak, it prefers shallow dead or silty reefs and this may account for the primarily continental distributions of these two species. Solitary (Ref 90102).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00871 (0.00495 - 0.01531), b=2.99 (2.84 - 3.14), based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.7 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec = 80,208).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .