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: Gill.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 50 - ? m (Ref. 89707). Subtropical, preferred 27°C (Ref. 107945); 32°N - 10°S, 117°W - 77°W (Ref. 5222)
Eastern Pacific: southern California in the USA to Peru, including Revillagigedo, Clipperton and the Galapagos islands. It is the most abundant small grouper in the northern Gulf of California.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 114 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 89707); max. published weight: 22.3 kg (Ref. 40637)
soft rays: 8. Distinguished by the following characteristics: generally pale reddish brown covered with numerous dark brown spots; 5 faint oblique dark bars on body; body depth less than head length, 2.6-3.0 times in SL; head length 2.3-2.5 times in SL; shallow notch above the angle of preopercle, serrae at angle slightly enlarged; slightly convex upper edge of operculum; subequal posterior and anterior nostrils; pelvic fins shorter than pectoral fins and their origin below or behind lower end of pectoral fin base; rounded caudal fin; ctenoid midlateral-body scales, with numerous auxiliary scales (Ref. 089707).
Abundant in patch reefs where it is readily caught by anglers. Inhabits depths of at least 50 m (Ref. 089707). Feeds mainly on crustaceans and fishes on rocky and sandy bottoms. During winter, it moves closer to the shore where it feeds heavily on swarms of pelagic red crab Pleuroncodes planipes.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.64 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tm=2-4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (68 of 100) .