Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Cephalopholis: Greek, kephale = head + Greek, pholis = scale (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 2 - 150 m (Ref. 9710). Tropical, preferred 28°C (Ref. 107945); 35°N - 34°S, 31°E - 158°W (Ref. 5222)
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to Durban, South Africa and eastward to the Line Islands; including most islands in the Indian and west-central Pacific oceans. Absent from Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Misidentified as Cephalopholis cyanostigma from Reunion (Ref. 6453).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 26 - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 90102)
soft rays: 8 - 9. Color orange-red to reddish brown, usually dark posteriorly with numerous bright blue spots which are smaller than the pupil and often faintly dark-edged on head, body and median fins; distal margin of caudal fin and soft portions of dorsal and anal fins usually with a narrow blue margin and blackish submarginal line; orange-yellow pectoral fins, on some only distally; orange-red pelvic fins; it is capable of a disruptive color pattern of irregular oblique olivaceous bars; juveniles may be yellow with scattered faint blue spots. D IX, 14-16; A III, 8-9 (rarely 8); pectoral 17-18 (often 18); scales on lateral line 47-55; scales on longitudinal series 94-114; snout anterior to nostrils no scales; partially scaled maxilla; abdomen with cycloid scales; gill rakers 7-9 + 13-15; depth of body 2.65-3.05 in SL; length of head 2.4-2.65 in SL; the maxilla extends to or posterior to rear of the orbit; smooth ventral margin of preopercle; 5th - 8th dorsal spines longest , 3.0-3.6 in head; pectoral fins 1.45-1.75 in head; pelvic fins do not reach the anus, 1.9-2.3 in head (Ref. 4787).
Inhabit clear waters of coral reefs; more often found in exposed rather than protected reef areas (Ref. 5213). Feed on fishes (80%, mainly Pseudanthias squamipinnis) and crustaceans. Form haremic groups comprising of a dominant male and 2 to 12 females. These groups occupy territories of up to 475 sq m subdivided into secondary territories and defended by a single female (Ref. 6480). Generally common (Ref. 9710).
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. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: 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=0.01202 (0.00742 - 0.01949), b=3.04 (2.90 - 3.18), based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.3 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tmax=26).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (63 of 100) .