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
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)
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).
Indo-Pacific: South Africa to French Polynesia. Not known from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, nor Asian mainland.
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).
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)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30298)
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 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) .