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Epinephelus merra  Bloch, 1793

Honeycomb grouper
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Epinephelus merra   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Epinephelus merra (Honeycomb grouper)
Epinephelus merra
Picture by Randall, J.E.

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).   More on author: Bloch.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 50 m (Ref. 9710), usually ? - 20 m (Ref. 5222).   Tropical; 35°N - 35°S, 28°E - 129°W (Ref. 5222)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 11.0, range 19 - ? cm
Max length : 32.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 90102)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-17; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. A series of about five darker diagonal bands, each two to five hexagons wide, superimposed on sides and radiating from eye; hexagons on sides may coalesce into short rows (Ref. 37816); further characterized by having ctenoid scales on body except cycloid anteriorly above lateral line, on thorax and lower abdomen; body with auxiliary scales; greatest depth of body 2.8-3.3 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins, 1.7-2.2 in head length (Ref. 90102); head length 2.3-2.6 times in SL; flat interorbital area, dorsal head profile convex; rounded or subangular preopercle, serrae at angle enlarged; almost straight upper edge of operculum; subequal anterior and posterior nostrils or posterior nostrils larger; maxilla reaches past vertical at rear edge of eye; 2-4 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw, inner teeth about twice length of outer teeth; pyloric caeca 8 (Ref. 89707).

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

Indo-Pacific: South Africa to French Polynesia. Not known from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, nor Asian mainland.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Very common in shallow lagoon and semi-protected seaward reefs. Juveniles are common in thickets of staghorn Acropora corals. Feed on crustaceans and fishes. Increase of piscivory with age is observed in this species. Cultured under experimental conditions in the Philippines (Ref. 4757). In the Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). Neither opercular spine nor anterolateral glandular grooves with venom gland is present (Ref. 57406). Current information in the table (dangerous fish) do not match; needs verification. Solitary (Ref 90102).

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.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30298)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | 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 | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01288 (0.00871 - 0.01905), b=3.08 (2.96 - 3.20), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.8   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.3-0.6).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (23 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.