Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Epinephelus: Greek, epinephelos = cloudy (Ref. 45335). More on authors: Temminck & Schlegel.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 10 - 50 m (Ref. 5222). Tropical; 39°N - 12°N, 110°E - 143°E (Ref. 5222)
Northwest Pacific: Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Viet Nam, and islands in the South China Sea.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 16 - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5222); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9137)
soft rays: 8. Distinguished by the following characteristics: head and body pale greyish brown dorsally, usually golden yellow ventrally; 4 broad dark bars on the dorsal part of the body, one on caudal peduncle and another often visible on nape; numerous small yellow spots on head and body; body and median fins with small greyish white spots; soft dorsal and caudal fins and sometimes the anal fin, with prominent yellow margin; dusky yellow paired fins; yellow mustache in the maxillary groove; body depth 2.7-3.3 times in SL; head length 2.3-2.6 times in SL; convex interorbital area; strongly convex dorsal head profile; subangular preopercle, 2-5 strong spines at the angle; upper edge of operculum straight, uppermost spine rudimentary; maxilla reaches about to vertical at rear edge of eye; 2 rows of small, subequal teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw; caudal fin convex; lateral body scales distinctly ctenoid, with auxiliary scales in fish larger than 30 cm SL; pyloric caeca 12, in 3 bundles (Ref. 089707).
Occurs in rocky areas as well as on sandy-mud bottoms. Juveniles are common in tide pools. In captivity, the species is aggressive, chasing and biting other species, especially members of its own species. Protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 5222). Artificial fertilization of eggs was done and the longest survival time for the larvae was 15 days (Ref. 6780). In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253).
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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 16.2 - 25.6, mean 22.5 (based on 74 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.55 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Fecundity = 24,329).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (49 of 100) .