Epinephelus fuscoguttatus (Forsskål, 1775)

Brown-marbled grouper
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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: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 60 m (Ref. 9710).   Tropical; 29°N - 27°S, 33°E - 171°W (Ref. 5222)

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

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Samoa and the Phoenix Islands, north to Japan, south to Australia. Unknown from the Persian Gulf, Hawaii, and French Polynesia. Often confused with Epinephelus polyphekadion (=Epinephelus microdon of recent authors).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 50 - ? cm
Max length : 120 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2114); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9137); max. published weight: 11.0 kg (Ref. 5222); max. reported age: 40 years (Ref. 74383)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-15; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. Small juveniles (<8 cm) with small hexagonal spots on head and body becoming larger posteriorly and on vertical fins (Ref. 37816); distinguished by pale yellowish brown color with five vertical series of irregular dark brown blotches; head, body and fins with numerous close-set, small brown spots; caudal peduncle with small black saddle dorsally; cycloid scales except ctenoid in juvenile; body with auxiliary scales; moderately deep bodied, greatest depth 2.6-2.9 in SL; pelvic fins 2.1-2.4 in head length (Ref. 90102); further characterized by having head length 2.3-2.5 times in SL; flat or slightly concave interorbital area; adults dorsal head profile indented at eyes and distinctly convex from there to origin of dorsal fin; rounded preopercle, finely serrate; distinctly convex upper edge of operculum, descending almost vertically to rear end of operculum; deeply indented anterior edge of preorbital bone below nostrils; triangular posterior nostrils, 4-7 times larger than anterior nostrils in adults; maxilla extends well posterior to eye; 3-4 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw, inner teeth twice as long compared to outer teeth; canines inconspicuous; nostrils are close together (Ref. 89707).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in lagoon pinnacles, channels, and outer reef slopes, in coral-rich (Ref. 1937) areas and with clear waters. Juveniles in seagrass beds (Ref. 30573, 41878). Feeds on fishes, crabs, and cephalopods. May be ciguatoxic in some areas (Ref. 1602). Mainly active at dusk (Ref. 48635). Palau fishers increase their drop-line and spear-gun catches through knowledge of reproductive cycle of remochel, one of most important species in the area (Ref. 2928). Cultured under experimental conditions in the Philippines; a candidate for aquaculture in Singapore. In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253).

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. 119314)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd+4bd); Date assessed: 20 November 2016

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 4690)

Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Aquaculture: production; fisheries: production; publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 25.4 - 29.1, mean 28.2 (based on 1118 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01047 (0.00713 - 0.01537), b=3.03 (2.92 - 3.14), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.1   ±0.72 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.16-0.20).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (57 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.