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; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 65 m (Ref. 9710). Tropical; 35°N - 35°S, 26°E - 180°E (Ref. 5222)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 42 - ? cm
Max length : 76.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6492)
soft rays: 8. Characterized by brownish grey to charcoal color; head, body and dorsal fin with irregular-shaped white spots and blotches of variable size; adults with ctenoid scales on body in broad zone along middle of side, cycloid elsewhere; body of adult with numerous auxiliary scales; greatest depth of body 3.0-3.4 in SL; rounded caudal fin; short pelvic fins, 2.0-2.7 in head length (Ref. 90102); head length 2.3-2.5 times in SL; head pointed, interorbital area usually flat, and the dorsal profile almost straight; preopercle rounded, finely serrate; inconspicuous opercular spines; straight, sinuous or slightly concave upper edge of operculum; maxilla naked, mostly covered by upper lip; small or absent canines at front of jaws; 3-5 rows of small teeth in midlateral part of lower jaw (Ref. 089707).
Indo-Pacific: East Africa south to East London, South Africa and east to Fiji. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797). It is not known from the Red Sea, but it does occur in the Persian Gulf. Record from northwestern Australia (Ref. 3132) is doubtful. It is closely related to, and is often confused with, three other white-spotted species: Epinephelus ongus, Epinephelus summana, and Epinephelus corallicola.
Occurs in rocky or coral-rich areas of deep lagoons, channels and outer reef slopes; usually in or near caves (Ref. 089707). Juveniles are found in tide pools. Feeds on fish and crustaceans (Ref. 6113). In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). Solitary (Ref 90102).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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: minor commercial
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=0.01096 (0.00710 - 0.01694), b=3.00 (2.87 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (56 of 100) .