Epinephelus malabaricus  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Malabar grouper
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Epinephelus malabaricus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Epinephelus malabaricus (Malabar grouper)
Epinephelus malabaricus
Picture by De Vroe, J.

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: Epinephelus: Greek, epinephelos = cloudy (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 150 m (Ref. 5222).   Tropical; 30°N - 32°S, 29°E - 173°W (Ref. 5222)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 114 - ? cm
Max length : 234 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5213); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5213); max. published weight: 150.0 kg (Ref. 9710)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-16; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. Characterized by light grey to yellowish brown color; five slightly oblique dark brown bars that bifurcate ventrally; numerous small black spots and blotches in head and body; ctenoid scales on body except cycloid anterodorsally on body, thorax and abdomen; body with auxiliary scales; greatest depth of body 3.0-3.6 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins, 2.0-2.6 in head length (Ref 90102); head length 2.3-2.6 times in SL; snout length 1.7-2.0 times in upper jaw length; interorbital width 4.5-6.5 times in HL and 2.1-3.0 times in upper jaw length; flat or slightly convex interorbital area; subangular preopercle, with enlarged serrae at the angle; almost straight upper edge of operculum; subequal posterior and anterior nostrils, except in large adults which have the posterior nostrils slightly larger; maxilla reaches to or past vertical at rear edge of orbit, maxilla width 4.5-6.5% of SL; upper jaw length 17-22% of SL, 2-5 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw (Ref. 89707).

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

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Tonga, north to Japan, south to Australia. It is not known from the Persian Gulf, where the closely related Epinephelus coioides is common.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A common species found in a variety of habitats: coral and rocky reefs, tide pools, estuaries, mangrove swamps and sandy or mud bottom from shore to depths of 150 m. Juveniles found near shore and in estuaries; sex reversal probable; catch statistics poor being previously confused with E. andersoni (Ref. 4332). Feeds primarily on fishes and crustaceans, and occasionally on cephalopods (Ref. 9710). In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). Widely used in mariculture mainly in the Far East (Ref. 43448). Solitary (Ref 90102).

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

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)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Aquaculture: production; ; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01023 (0.00660 - 0.01587), b=3.03 (2.90 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.61 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.