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Epinephelus trimaculatus  (Valenciennes, 1828)

Threespot grouper
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
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Epinephelus trimaculatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Epinephelus trimaculatus (Threespot grouper)
Epinephelus trimaculatus
Picture by Cornish, A.

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; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 30 m (Ref. 89707).   Tropical; 37°N - 20°N, 112°E - 143°E (Ref. 5222)

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

Northwest Pacific: southern Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Reports of the species (under the valid name or as Epinephelus fario) from the Indian Ocean are apparently based on misidentifications.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 29 - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 89707)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16-17; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. Preopercle rounded; serrae mostly hidden by skin; upper edge of operculum straight; nostrils small, subequal; maxilla reaches to or beyond vertical at rear edge of the eye. Area behind pectoral-fin tip with a patch of ctenoid scales in juveniles. Color is pale brown with small red or reddish brown spots. Fins darker, also covered with spots and often with a narrow white edge. A black blotch is at the base of the last 3 dorsal-fin spines, a smaller blotch at the base of the middle dorsal-fin rays, and a third on top of the caudal peduncle. Distinguished further by the following characteristics: body depth contained 2.7-3.3 times in SL; head length 2.4-2.6 times in SL; slightly convex interorbital area; small anterior and posterior nostrils, subequal; maxilla reaches to or past vertical at rear edge of eye; 2 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw (Ref. 89707).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Juveniles are common in tide pools and in shallow clear water around rocks and coral reefs; adults found in deeper water. Kuo et al. (1988, Ref. 6826) induced sex reversal and artificial spawning (referred to as 'Epinephelus fario').

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)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 18.7 - 25.4, mean 22 (based on 196 cells; Ref. 115970).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01122 (0.00545 - 0.02310), b=3.04 (2.88 - 3.20), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.0   ±0.66 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (42 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.