Epinephelus merra Bloch, 1793
Honeycomb grouper
Baraka,  Honeycomb grouper,  Abo-abo,  Alatan,  Baghak,  Bantol,  Bantulon,  Baraka,  Bato-bato,  Batol,  Bulang,  Dwarf spotted rockcod,  Iner,  Inid,  Jahong,  Kakab,  Kaltang,  Kigting,  Kugtong,  Kugtung,  Kulapo,  Kurapo,  Kurapu,  Labungan,  Lapu lapu,  Lapu-lapu,  Lapu-lapung liglig,  Lapu-lapung lupot,  Liglig,  Lilug,  Lubo,  Mamonbong,  Mantis,  Maskad,  Matkad,  Ogaw,  Pugapo,  Pugayo,  Salingukod,  Sibog,  Sigapo,  Subla,  Tabadlo,  Taleti-on,  Tangk-an,  Ting-ad,  Tingag
Epinephelus merra
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  32 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 50 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: South Africa to French Polynesia. Not known from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, nor Asian mainland.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-17; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. A series of about five darker diagonal bands, each two to five hexagons wide, superimposed on sides and radiating from eye; hexagons on sides may coalesce into short rows (Ref. 37816); further characterized by having ctenoid scales on body except cycloid anteriorly above lateral line, on thorax and lower abdomen; body with auxiliary scales; greatest depth of body 2.8-3.3 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins, 1.7-2.2 in head length (Ref. 90102); head length 2.3-2.6 times in SL; flat interorbital area, dorsal head profile convex; rounded or subangular preopercle, serrae at angle enlarged; almost straight upper edge of operculum; subequal anterior and posterior nostrils or posterior nostrils larger; maxilla reaches past vertical at rear edge of eye; 2-4 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw, inner teeth about twice length of outer teeth; pyloric caeca 8 (Ref. 89707).
Biology:  Very common in shallow lagoon and semi-protected seaward reefs. Juveniles are common in thickets of staghorn Acropora corals. Feed on crustaceans and fishes. Increase of piscivory with age is observed in this species. Cultured under experimental conditions in the Philippines (Ref. 4757). In the Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). Neither opercular spine nor anterolateral glandular grooves with venom gland is present (Ref. 57406). Current information in the table (dangerous fish) do not match; needs verification. Solitary (Ref 90102).
IUCN Red List Status: (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:  Known from Puerto Princesa, Palawan (Ref. 58652), Nasugbu, Batangas (Ref. 107854), Calatagan, Batangas (Ref. 107853), Lanuza Bay (Ref. 104756), Sarangani Bay, Paril-Sangay Protected Seascape, Moro Gulf (Ref. 106380). Museum: ZUMT 11135-36. Sitankai, UMMZ 100332. Luzon, Lingayen Gulf, LACM 35970-4, 42467-13. Off Calauit, collected by angling, FRLM 12133. Also Ref. 280, 4787, 5222, 10558, 12744, 13724, 48613.

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 31.01.92
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 11.03.13
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 15.01.97

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