Plectropomus areolatus  (Rüppell, 1830)

Squaretail coralgrouper
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Plectropomus areolatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Plectropomus areolatus (Squaretail coralgrouper)
Plectropomus areolatus
Picture by Field, R.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Plectropomus: Greek,plektron = anything to strike with, spur + Greek, poma = cover, operculum (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 20 m (Ref. 9710).   Tropical; 31°N - 25°S, 32°E - 169°W (Ref. 5222)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 41 - ? cm
Max length : 80.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 90102)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 7 - 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-12; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. Distinguished by the following characteristics: Has truncate tail with a narrow white posterior margin (Ref. 37816); further characterized by whitish to pale grey color; head, body and fins with numerous small, dark-edged blue spots; frequently with 4-5 dark blotches forming saddles on back; large canine teeth at front of jaws; 1-4 large canines on side of lower jaw; elongate body, greatest depth 2.9-3.9 in SL; truncate to slightly emarginate caudal fin; pectoral fins 2.0-2.3 in head length; pelvic fins 2.0-2.4 in head length (Ref 90102); snout length 2.8-3.6 times in head length; suborbital depth 5.6-10 times in HL; flat interorbital area, with small, embedded scales; broadly rounded preopercle, with 3 large , ventrally directed spines along lower half; smooth interopercle and subopercle; 3 flat spines on opercle, upper and lower spines covered by skin; posterior and anterior nostrils subequal in size, set in shallow groove running forward from eye (Ref. 89707).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to the Phoenix Islands and Samoa, north to Ryukyu Islands, south to Australia.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs, in areas with rich coral growth. Most frequently encountered in channels along the reef front (Ref. 9710, 48635). Often a shy fish (Ref. 48635). Feed exclusively on fishes (Ref. 37816). Misidentified as P. leopardus in Ref. 2928 (Johannes, pers. comm.). This study reports of a declining stock in Palau due to fishing. Before actual spawning around full moon, the species aggregates along channels and are responsive to baited hooks, making them vulnerable to fishermen; upward movements of some to take baited hooks presumably mistaken for courtship or spawning behavior. Large individuals may be ciguatoxic in certain areas (Ref. 37816). In the Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Heemstra, Phillip C. | Collaborators

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. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A4d)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01259 (0.00666 - 0.02379), b=3.04 (2.88 - 3.20), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.80 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (57 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.