Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe, 1834)
Dusky grouper
Epinephelus marginatus
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  150 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 60 kg; max. reported age: 60 years
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 8 - 300 m,
Distribution:  East and Southwest Atlantic and Western Indian Ocean: East Atlantic: throughout the Mediterranean Sea, and from the southern Bay of Biscay to southern tip of Africa. Stray specimens reported from the British Isles, and eastern English Channel (Normandy, France; Ref. 92236). Southwest Atlantic: southeastern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Western Indian Ocean: from tip of Africa to southern Mozambique and southern Madagascar. Reported from Oman and La Reunion I.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-16; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-9. Diagnosis: head and body dark reddish brown or greyish dorsally, usually yellowish gold ventrally; irregular white, pale greenish yellow or silvery grey blotches usually visible on the body and head and mostly arranged in vertical series; more or less distinct black maxillary streak; dark brown median fins; distal edge of anal and caudal fins, often also pectoral fins, narrowly white; pelvic fins blackish distally; pectoral fins dark reddish brown or grey; margin of spinous dorsal fin and basal part of the paired fins often golden yellow; head length 2.3-2.5 in SL; convex interorbital area; rounded preopercle, finely serrate, serrae at angle slightly enlarged; smooth subopercle and interopercle; eye diameter greater than or subequal to interorbital width in fish 10-30 cm SL, less than interorbital in fish over 40 cm SL; posterior and anterior nostrils subequal or posterior nostril slightly larger; maxilla naked, reaching to or slightly past vertical at rear edge of eye; 2-4 rows of subequal teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw (Ref. 89707). Description: body robust, its depth comprised 2.6-3.1 times in standard length; lower jaw slightly prominent; teeth of inner row depressible in both jaws; pelvic fins not reaching anus; caudal fin rounded in juveniles, truncated with rounded angles in adults; scales small, broadly imbricate, embedded in thick skin (Ref. 57293). Coloration: brown, back sometimes dark grey to reddish, belly yellowish; body and head with an irregular pattern of white spots sometimes forming diffuse vertical bars; fins dark; caudal, anal and sometimes pectoral with a tiny white edge; dorsal with a yellow-golden edge; base of pair fins often yellow-golden (Ref. 57293).
Biology:  Adults prefer rocky bottoms (Ref. 5222), are solitary and territorial (Ref. 12382). Juveniles are found closer to shore (Ref. 48605) in rocky tidal pools (Ref. 48609). Enters brackish environments (Ref. 57293). Mainly feed on crabs and octopi; larger individuals feed on a greater proportion of fishes, the majority of which are reef-associated species (Ref. 6842). A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). Mature individuals form spawning aggregations (Ref. 55367). Utilized as a food fish (Ref. 171). Readily caught by anglers (Ref. 5222). Not adapted well in an aquarium (Ref. 12382).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered(A2d) (Ref. 115185) , IUCN Grouper and Wrasse Specialist Group
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 16.10.92
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 13.11.17
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 19.04.94

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