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; reef-associated; depth range 4 - 160 m (Ref. 5222), usually 20 - 45 m (Ref. 5222). Tropical, preferred 28°C (Ref. 107945); 36°N - 35°S, 22°E - 124°W
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to South Africa and eastward to the Pitcairn Group, north to Japan and Korea, south to the Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819), southern Queensland (Australia) and Lord Howe Island.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 16 - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5222); common length : 22.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450); max. published weight: 2.0 kg (Ref. 30874)
soft rays: 8. Distinguished by having color ranging from pale greenish grey to pale reddish yellow or pinkish; with 5-6 dark bars of variable intensity; top of head reddish brown; ctenoid scales on body except cycloid anterodorsally above lateral line and on thorax and ventrally on abdomen; body with numerous auxiliary scales; greatest body depth 2.8-3.3 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins 2.0-2.4 in head length (Ref. 90102); characterized further by having flat interorbital area, convex dorsal head profile; snout length contained 4.3-5.1 times in HL; rounded preopercle, finely serrate rear edge, with lower most serrae slightly enlarged; upper edge of operculum straight; subequal posterior and anterior nostrils; maxilla reaches to below rear third of eye or a little past eye; 2-4 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw (Ref. 89707).
Common in outer reef slopes at depths below 15 m, also occurs in protected bays and lagoons as shallow as 4 m. May also be found down to a depth of 160 m. At Madagascar it feeds night and day on brachyuran crabs, fishes, shrimps, and galatheid crabs (Ref. 6774). In Kenyan waters it feeds on crabs, stomatopods, fishes, ophiuroids, and octopus (Ref. 6448). In the Red Sea, mostly fishes and some crustaceans (mainly crabs) are consumed (Ref. 6699).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
This species exhibits a combination of simultaneous and sequential hermaphroditism. Smaller individuals within a social group are simultaneous hermaphrodites, while the largest often lose female function and reproduce exclusively as a male (Ref. 103751).
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. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30298)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
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=0.01175 (0.00741 - 0.01862), b=3.02 (2.89 - 3.15), based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.16).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (53 of 100) .