Redmouth grouper (Aethaloperca rogaa)

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Redmouth grouper with cleaner shrimp at cleaning station
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Redmouth grouper fact file

Redmouth grouper description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderPerciformes
FamilySerranidae
GenusAethaloperca

The redmouth grouper is a robust, reef fish with a deep, compressed body (1) (3). It is generally dark brown to black in colour, occasionally with an orange cast, while the inside of its mouth is reddish-orange, hence the common name (1) (3) (4). The juvenile differs from the adult primarily in having its dorsal fin and caudal fin edged bluish-white. In resembling small, non-predatory reef fish, juveniles are thought to benefit from this ‘disguise’ when foraging for prey (2) (3).

Also known as
Red-flushed cod, red-flushed rock-cod, redmouth grouper, redmouth rockcod.
Synonyms
Aethaloperca rogae, Aethaloperca rogoa, Aetheloperca rogaa, Aetholoperca rogaa, Athaloperca rogae, Cepahlopholis rogaa, Perca lunaria, Perca rogaa.
French
Matongo, Merou Noir, Vielle Roga.
Spanish
Cherna Roga.
Size
Max length: 60cm (1)
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Redmouth grouper biology

Owing to the natural scarcity of the redmouth grouper, very little is known about this species’ biology (2). It feeds mainly on small, cave-dwelling fish but will also take mantis shrimps and other crustaceans. Early evidence suggests that the redmouth grouper spawns at any time of the year and, unlike some groupers, does not aggregate to spawn (2) (1).

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Redmouth grouper range

The redmouth grouper is found in the vicinity of most land masses of the Indian Ocean, from South Africa to the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, east to Southeast Asia and the islands of the western Pacific (2) (1).

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Redmouth grouper habitat

This reef species prefers well-developed coral reefs at depths of 1 to 60 metres, where it is often seen near caves and holes (2) (1).

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Redmouth grouper status

Classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List (2).

IUCN Red List species status – Data Deficient

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Redmouth grouper threats

The threats to the redmouth grouper are poorly understood, but there are concerns that it is being overfished due to its capture as bycatch in artisanal and small-scale commercial fisheries. Furthermore, as an inhabitant of coral reefs, this species is likely to be vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation (2).

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Redmouth grouper conservation

There are currently no specific conservation measures in place for the redmouth grouper but it is found in protected areas throughout its range (2).

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.
View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on the conservation of groupers see:

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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
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Glossary

Bycatch
In the fishing industry, the part of the catch made up of non-target species.
Caudal fin
The tail fin of a fish, used for steering, balancing or propulsion.
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
In fish, one of the unpaired fins found on the back of the body.
Spawn
The production or depositing of large quantities of eggs in water.
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References

  1. Heemstra, P.C. and Randall, J.E. (1993) FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16: Groupers of the World. Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome.
  2. IUCN Red List (April, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  3. Snyder, D.B., Randall, J.E. and Michael, S.W. (2001) Aggressive mimicry by the juvenile of the redmouth grouper, Aethaloperca rogaa. Cybium, 25: 227 - 232.
  4. Randall, J.E. (1994) Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.
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Image credit

Redmouth grouper with cleaner shrimp at cleaning station  
Redmouth grouper with cleaner shrimp at cleaning station

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