Epinephelus hexagonatus (Forster, 1801)
Starspotted grouper
Lapu lapu,  Baraka,  Bulang,  Inid,  Kulapo kut-kut,  Kurapu,  Lapu-lapu,  Mantis,  Pugapo,  Tingag
Epinephelus hexagonatus
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  27.5 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 30 m
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: none have been taken on the African coast, except for the specimen recorded by Randall and Heemstra 1991(Ref. 4787) from Kenyan coast north of Kilifi Creek. It is an insular species found in most tropical Indo-Pacific islands. Absent in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-17; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. Small but conspicuous triangular white spots on the corners of the brown hexagons of the vertical fins and all of the body except the belly; four to six dark blotches along the dorsal fin base (Ref. 37816); further characterized by having ctenoid scales on body except cycloid anterodorsally above lateral line, on thorax and abdomen; body with auxiliary scales; greatest depth of body 2.8-3.5 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins 1.8-2.1 in head length (Ref. 90102); HL 2.5-2.6 times in SL; flat interorbital area, convex dorsal head profile; rounded preopercle, slightly enlarged ventral serrae; upper edge of operculum convex; posterior and anterior nostrils subequal; maxilla reaches to or past vertical at rear edge of eye; smoothly curved ventral edge of maxilla; 3-5 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw (Ref. 89707).
Biology:  Common in exposed outer-reef areas in relatively shallow water. Well-camouflaged grouper, solitary (Ref 37816). Feeds mainly on fishes and crustaceans (stomatopods and brachyuran crabs) (Ref. 5222).
IUCN Red List Status: (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Also Ref. 48613.

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 02.12.92
Modified by: Pablico, Grace Tolentino - 05.09.03
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 11.04.94

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