Epinephelus polyphekadion (Bleeker, 1849)

Camouflage grouper
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Epinephelus polyphekadion   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Epinephelus polyphekadion (Camouflage grouper)
Epinephelus polyphekadion
Picture by Randall, J.E.

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).  More on author: Bleeker.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 46 m (Ref. 9710).   Tropical; 30°N - 34°S, 27°E - 134°W (Ref. 5222)

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

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and east coast of Africa to French Polynesia. In the western Pacific it ranges from southern Japan to southern Queensland and Lord Howe Island. Often confused with Epinephelus fuscoguttatus.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 58 - ? cm
Max length : 90.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4319); common length : 90.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-15; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body depth 2.7-3.1 in SL; preopercle rounded, finely serrate; upper edge of operculum distinctly convex; rear nostril diameter about twice that of anterior nostril; gill rakers of first gill arch 8-10 + 15-1= 24-27; dorsal-fin spines third or fourth longest, 2.7-3.3 in HL and distinctly shorter than longest dorsal-fin ray; 2-3 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw; front of jaws with inconspicuous fixed canines; body scales ctenoid in broad zone on side from beneath pectoral fin to caudal peduncle, the rest cycloid; caudal fin rounded; pectoral-fin rays 16-18, fin length 1.7-2.1 in HL; short pelvic fins, 1.9-2.4 in HL; lateral-line scales 47-52, in series 95-110. Colour of head, body, and fins pale brown, covered with small dark brown spots; upper half whitish, head and body with irregular dark blotches (more distinct on live specimens) superimposed over the dark spots; prominent black saddle blotch on caudal peduncle; dark spots extend all over head, including lower jaw, lips, branchiostegal membranes, gular area, and inside of mouth; numerous small white spots on fins (more distinct on live fish). a few on head and body; juveniles with a pair of blackish spots on each side of snout and a black spot at margin of second and third interspinous dorsal membranes (Ref. 39231, 89707, 90102).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Often found in coral-rich areas of lagoon and outer reefs; in caves and large crevices to swim through (Ref. 48635). Most abundant around islands, particularly atolls. Usually in small schools but may be solitary (Ref 90102). Feeds mainly on crustaceans (portunid crabs) and fishes, sometimes on cephalopods and gastropods. In the Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). This species is important in artisanal fisheries, but occasionally implicated in cases of ciguatera (frequently ciguatoxic in the Marshall Is., Ref. 37816). It is now uncommon at localities with heavy spearfishing, but popular in the aquaculture industry of Singapore, where it is known as 'marble grouper'. It is caught with hook-and-line, spear, and traps (Ref. 39231).

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. 120744)

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

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 1602)





Human uses

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

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 24.5 - 28.9, mean 27.6 (based on 698 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01096 (0.00731 - 0.01644), b=3.07 (2.95 - 3.19), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.0   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (52 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.