Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Epinephelus: Greek, epinephelos = cloudy (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 20 - 200 m (Ref. 3589). Subtropical; 39°N - 16°S, 17°W - 60°E (Ref. 54435)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 50 - 60 cm
Max length : 120 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5222); common length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26999); max. published weight: 25.0 kg (Ref. 5222)
soft rays: 7 - 9. Distinguished by the following characteristics: depth of body less than head length, depth 3.0-3.6 times in SL; head length 2.5-2.9 times in SL; interorbital area convex; preopercle angular, 3.6- large spines at the angle, lowermost directed ventrally; posterior nostril slightly bigger than anterior nostril; maxilla reaches nearly to vertical at rear edge of eye; pelvic fin origin below base of pectoral fins; rounded caudal fin; body scales ctenoid (Ref. 089707).
Eastern Atlantic: along the west coast of Africa to southern Angola, including the southern Mediterranean (Ref. 5222). First record from Corsica, France in 2012 (Ref. 95839). Records from the Canary Islands and Cape Verde are unsubstantiated (Ref. 5222).
Adults are found on rocky or mud-sand bottom; juveniles have been taken in coastal lagoons and estuaries. In the west African waters, diet comprise of fishes (58%), stomatopods (21%), crabs (10%), and cephalopods (10%). It is a protogynous hermaphrodite. The seasonal migration of the species off the coast of Senegal is influenced by the seasonal upwelling off Senegal and Mauritania. Utilized fresh and smoked (Ref. 9987). Highly esteemed in the market of West Africa (Ref. 5377).
Most females change sex at about 9 kg, but smaller males (of 3 to 5 kg) are occasionally found. Total potential fecundity was estimated to range from 789,436 ova in a 44 cm SL fish of 2.2 kg to 12,589,242 ova in a 87 cm SL fish of 12.6 kg. In Tunisia, sex change occurs at 10 to 13 years (6 to 15 kg, 80 to 110 cm TL).
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. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental; gamefish: yes
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=0.00977 (0.00649 - 0.01472), b=3.04 (2.92 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.59 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.15-0.25; tm=5-7; tmax=17; Fec>1 million).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (52 of 100) .