Cephalopholis argus Schneider, 1801
Peacock hind
Baraka,  Lapu-lapu,  Peacock hind,  Baraka,  Dugnitan,  Lapu-lapu,  Peacock rockcod,  Turnutulin
Cephalopholis argus
photo by Moldzio, S.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  60 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 40 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to Durban, South Africa and eastward to French Polynesia and the Pitcairn group, north to the Ryukyu and Ogasawara islands, south to northern Australia and Lord Howe Island. May be confused with Cephalopholis cyanostigma.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-17; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 9-9. Dark brown in color, with small black-edged ocelli; 5-6 pale bars on rear part of body; large pale area over chest; distal part of pectorals sometimes maroon brown; triangular membranes at tips of dorsal fin spines orange-gold in color; further characterized by having ctenoid scales, becoming cycloid ventrally on belly; greatest body depth 2.7-3.3 in SL; rounded caudal fin; short pelvic fin, 1.9-2.4 in head length (Ref. 90102); head length 2.4-2.7 times in SL; small eyes, diameter less than snout length; interorbital area flat to slightly convex; rounded preopercle, finely serrate in young, virtually smooth in large adults, lower edge fleshy; smooth subopercle and interopercle; scaly maxilla, reaching well past eye (Ref. 89707).
Biology:  A generally common species (Ref. 9710) found in a variety of coral habitats (Ref. 58534) from tide pools to depths of at least 40 m; prefers the 1 to 10 m reef zone. Juvenile prefers shallow, protected coral thickets (Ref. 37816). Benthic and benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Feeds mainly on fishes (75-95%) and to a lesser extent on crustaceans. In the Red Sea, it feeds early in the morning and late afternoon (Ref. 6775); but at Madagascar, it appears to feed more at night (Ref. 6774). Implicated in ciguatera at some of the islands in Pacific region. In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253).
IUCN Red List Status: (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:  Recorded in TaƱon Strait (Ref. 107276). Known from Puerto Princesa, Palawan (Ref. 58652), Calatagan, Batangas (Ref. 107852), Nasugbu, Batangas (Ref. 107853), Lanuza Bay (Ref. 104756), Bongo Island, Moro Gulf (Ref. 106380), and Bantayan Is. in northern Cebu (Ref. 114734). Museum: CAS 49619; LACM 42488-26. Reported to cause ciguatera (Ref. 393). Also Ref. 4787.

Entered by: Torres, Armi G. - 14.09.92
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 07.03.13
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 10.03.94

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