Dotted grouper (Epinephelus epistictus)

loading
Dotted grouper specimen
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Dotted grouper fact file

Dotted grouper description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderPerciformes
FamilySerranidae
GenusEpinephelus (1)

Like other groupers, the dotted grouper has a robust body with a spiny dorsal fin and a rounded caudal fin (2) (3). As its name suggests, small dark spots arranged in irregular rows are conspicuous over the sides and upper parts of its pale brown to greenish-grey body. In addition, some specimens have a broad dark band running back from the eye to the operculum and two narrower bands running diagonally across the cheek (2) (4).

Also known as
Black-spotted grouper, black-spotted rockcod, broken-line grouper, brown rockcod, spottedback grouper.
Synonyms
Epinephelus episticus, Epinephelus heniochus, Epinephelus magniscuttis, Epinephelus praeopercularis, Epinephelus stimogrammacus, Serranus epistictus.
French
Diri, Merou Pale.
Spanish
Mero Palido.
Size
Max length: 80 cm (2)
Max weight: 7 kg (2)
Top

Dotted grouper biology

Nothing has been published on the biology of the dotted grouper (1), but like other Epinephelus species, it is probably a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning that individuals begin mature life as female and change sex later to become male (2) (3). Epinephelus species tend to be voracious predators, with fish and crustaceans taken near the sea bottom forming the bulk of prey (2) (5).

Top

Dotted grouper range

The dotted grouper has an Indo-West Pacific distribution ranging from South Africa to the Arabian Gulf, across to Japan, and south through Southeast Asia to northern Australia (1) (2).

Top

Dotted grouper habitat

This bottom dwelling species inhabits soft and rocky bottoms on the continental shelf from depths of 71 to 291 metres (1) (2).

Top

Dotted grouper status

Classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Data Deficient

Top

Dotted grouper threats

Although the dotted grouper is potentially threatened by overfishing there is very little information available to make a detailed assessment of the conservation status of this species. In the absence of research data, it is unknown whether its apparent rarity in fisheries is attributable to naturally low abundance levels, already-depleted stock, or simply a preference for deeper water where it is less likely to be caught (1).

Top

Dotted grouper conservation

Owing to the lack of information on the dotted grouper, the current conservation priority is to research those aspects of its biology which will significantly influence its vulnerability to overfishing, such as growth rate and reproductive potential. Similarly, quantitative information on the natural abundance of this elusive species is crucial to assessing its status (1).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi is a principal sponsor of ARKive. EAD is working to protect and conserve the environment as well as promoting sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Top

Find out more

For further information on the conservation of groupers see:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
Top

Glossary

Crustaceans
Diverse group of arthropods (a phylum of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton) characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (parts of the mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, slaters, woodlice and barnacles.
Dorsal fin
The unpaired fin found on the back of the body of fish, or the raised structure on the back of most cetaceans.
Operculum
A hard, bony flap that covers and protects the gill slits of fish.
Protogynous hermaphrodite
An animal that begins its life cycle as a female. As the animal ages, based on internal or external triggers, it shifts sex to become a male animal.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (April, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Heemstra, P.C. and Randall, J.E. (1993) FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16: Groupers of the World. Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome..
  3. Randall, J.E. (1994) Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.
  4. Polovina, J.J. and Ralston, S. (1987) Tropical snappers and groupers: biology and fisheries management. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.
  5. Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
X
Close

Image credit

Dotted grouper specimen  
Dotted grouper specimen

© John E. Randall

Dr. John E. Randall
jackr@hawaii.rr.com
http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/photos/HI_Reef_Shore_Fishes.pdf

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Dotted grouper (Epinephelus epistictus) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

This species is featured in:

This species is featured in Jewels of the UAE, which showcases biodiversity found in the United Arab Emirates in association with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog RSS