Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Cephalopholis: Greek, kephale = head + Greek, pholis = scale (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 10 - 150 m (Ref. 9710), usually 20 - 150 m (Ref. 9710). Tropical; 34°N - 32°S, 31°E - 158°W (Ref. 5222)
Indo-Pacific: east coast of Africa (Djibouti, Socotra to Durban) to the Line Islands, north to southern Japan, south to southern Queensland (Australia). Not found at the Chagos Archipelago despite intensive survey and not reported from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 28 - ? cm
Max length : 57.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5222); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450)
soft rays: 9. Opercular spines very small. Pelvic fins usually reaching or extending beyond anus. Color of adults in Indian Ocean: body orange-red to reddish brown, often with scattered small whitish blotches; head purplish to reddish brown with numerous close-set orange-red spots; membrane between lower 2 opercular spines usually darker than rest of head; fins usually darker than body, esp. the caudal and posterior part of dorsal and anal fins; pelvic fins often blackish distally. Color of adults in the Pacific: light reddish to yellowish brown with numerous small brownish red spots on head, body, and fins. Caudal fin rounded (Ref. 4787); Characterized further by having ctenoid body scales, cycloid on abdomen; greatest depth of body 2.3-2.8 in SL; pelvic fins 1.5-1.9 in head length (Ref. 90102).
Adults occur in deep lagoon reefs and steep outer reef slopes; encountered in coastal areas with rocky substrates. Juveniles are usually found near sponges or coral heads (Ref. 9710). Adults usually at moderate depths with bommies with large holes, usually occupied by cleaner shrimps (Ref. 48635). Usually caught in depths of 30 to 100 m, but in Madagascar, it occurs in depths of 10 to 20 m. Solitary (Ref. 90102). Feed on small fishes and crustaceans including shrimps, crabs and stomatopods (Ref. 37816). Females mature at about 28 cm SL and males at about 34 cm SL (Ref. 6448). Generally marketed fresh (Ref. 5284). Found in Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253).
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. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 21.2 - 29, mean 27.6 (based on 2728 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01288 (0.01046 - 0.01587), b=3.05 (3.02 - 3.08), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.60 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec = 42,252).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (46 of 100) .