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Alphestes afer  (Bloch, 1793)

Mutton hamlet
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Alphestes afer   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Alphestes afer (Mutton hamlet)
Alphestes afer
Picture by Duarte, L.O.

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: Alphestes: Greek, alphestes, -oy = a kind of fish (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 2 - 30 m (Ref. 9710).   Tropical; 32°N - 27°S, 86°W - 32°W (Ref. 5222)

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

Western Atlantic: Bermuda, south Florida (USA), Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, Cuba, West Indies, Panama, Venezuela, and southward to the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Alphestes afer has recently been re-discovered at São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea of the Eastern Atlantic.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 18.0, range 18 - 18.4 cm
Max length : 33.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5222)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-20; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 9 - 10. Diagnosis: Body depth is slightly less than head length, depth contained 2.4-3.1 (2.9) in standard length; caudal peduncle depth 7.0-9.0 (8.5) times in SL; eye diameter greater than or equal to snout length and 8.1-15.0 (13) times in SL; snout length 10.1-16.0 (16.0) times in SL; preopercle rounded, posterior edge serrate, with a large antrorse spine at the angle directed downward and forward and usually covered with skin. Gill rakers 5-8 (7) on upper limb, 14-17 (16) on lower limb, 19-25 (23) total, including rudiments. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 17 to 20 (18) soft rays, anal fin with III spines and 9, rarely 10 (10) soft rays; pectoral fins with 16 - 18 (17) rays; caudal fin rounded, with 15 branched rays. Scales are smooth. Lateral-line scales 49-66; lateral scale series 68 – 88 (76). Color in life; head, body, and median fins olivaceous or light brown, irregularly blotched and barred with dark brown. Some individuals are densely spotted with orange; head, body, and all fins often with scattered white spots; body sometimes covered with scattered small black dots; pectoral fins may be orange or yellow with faint dark reticulations (Ref. 57865); Color in market: almost similar to color in life but general body color may fade to a pale drab cream, also spots and reticulations may fade (Ref. 89707).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A solitary species (Ref. 26340) occurring in seagrass habitats. Sedentary during the day, hiding in crevices or lying among seaweed, sometimes partly covering itself with sand while lying on its side. Nocturnal feeders of benthic crustaceans. Estimated eggs per fish is from 157512 to 223706 (Ref. 29). Small, colorful group; a sequential hermaphrodite (Ref. 26938). Has been traded as an aquarium fish at Ceará, Brazil (Ref. 49392).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Protogyny is unconfirmed for this species (Ref. 103751).

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. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01122 (0.00543 - 0.02320), b=3.05 (2.88 - 3.22), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Fec=150,000-220,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.