Taxon profile


Blue-spotted Hind
Cephalopholis cyanostigma (Valenciennes, 1828)

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Chordata - chordates »  class Actinopterygii - ray-finned fishes »  order Perciformes - perch-likes »  family Serranidae - sea basses and groupers »  genus Cephalopholis

Scientific synonyms

Serranus cyanostigma Valenciennes, 1828
Epinephelus cyanostigrna (Valenciennes, 1828)
Cephalopholis kendalli Evermann & Seale, 1907
Cephalopholis xanthopterus Allen & Starck, 1975

Other names

= Blue-spotted Rock Cod

= Bluespotted Grouper

Least Concern LC


Body somewhat compressed, the width contained 2.0 to 2.3 times in the depth; depth less than head length, contained 2.6 to 3.0 times in standard length (for fish 8 to 23 cm standard length). Head length 2.3 to 2.6 times in standard length; interorbital area flat to slightly convex, its width subequal to eye diameter and maxilla width; preopercle rounded, finely serrate, the lower edge fleshy; subopercle and interopercle smooth or with a few serrae; upper edge of operculum very convex, the rear edge almost vertical; maxilla scaly, reaching well past eye. Gill rakers 7 to 9 on upper limb, 14 to 18 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with IX spines and 15 to 17 rays, the fin membrane indented between the spines; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral-fin rays 15 to 18; pectoral fins distinctly longer than pelvic fins, pectoral-fin length contained 1.5 to 1.8 times in head length; pelvic fins usually not reaching anus, their length contained 1.8 to 2.1 times in head length; caudal fin well rounded. Body scales ctenoid, with a few auxiliary scales in adults: lateral-line scales 46 to 50; lateral-scale series 92 to 106.
Colour: Adults brown to brownish red, with numerous small black-edged blue ocelli on head, body, and fins, those on head and chest larger and more distinctly black-edged than those on upper part of body, those on fins smaller (except basally on pectoral fins) and also distinctly black-edged (spots entirely dark in preservative, the ones on body faint); body often with dark chain-like bars; proximal half of pectoral fins coloured like body, the distal part orange-yellow with a blackish edge or white edge and black submarginal line; proximal two-thirds of pectoral fins with blue ocelli becoming smaller distally; median fins darker than body, the posterior margin bluish white with a submarginal blackish band. Juveniles with head, body, and pectoral fins dark brown, the other fins bright yellow; blue ocelli on head and front of body indistinct or absent.


Tropical western Pacific, including Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Palau, New Britain, Solomon Islands, and north coast of Australia from the Dampier Islands off Western Australia to the Capricorn Islands of the southern Great Barrier Reef.


C. cyanostigma occurs on coral reefs and seagrass or algal beds at depths of 1 to 50 m. Like most groupers, it feeds on crustaceans and fishes.


Maximum total length 30 cm.

Interesting facts

The report of C. cyanostigma from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean (Postel et al., 1963) is based on a misidentification of C. miniata. And the record from the South China Sea (Tan et al., 1982) is illustrated with a photograph of C. argus. The colour pattern of juveniles is quite different from that of adults, and this led Allen and Starck (1975) to describe the juvenile as a new species. Randall found a transitional specimen (with yellow fins and blue spots) and initially thought it might be a new species. Sometime later, he was photographing what he thought was C. xanthopterus, and when the photographs were developed, the characteristic blue spots of C. cyanostigma which were not seen on the fish underwater, were apparent on the photographs (revealed by the flash used for the photographs).


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1993, Heemstra, P.C.; Randall, J.E., FAO species catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (Family Serranidae, Subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rock cod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date.
Author: Petr Čech

Links and literature

CH DE EN FR IT NL PR SP FishBase [6445]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/5341]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Cephalopholis cyanostigma (Valenciennes, 1828)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132808]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Cephalopholis cyanostigma (Valenciennes, 1828)]
Data retrieved on: 3 August 2018
CZ Hanel L., Plíštil J., Novák J. (2011): České názvy živočichů V. Ryby a rybovití obratlovci (Pisces). 7. Paprskoploutví (Actinopterygii) Kostnatí (Neopterygii) [Ropušnicotvaří (Scorpaeniformes) – ostnoploutví (Perciformes) – Percoidei], Národní muzeum (zoologické oddělení), Praha, 148 str. [as Cephalopholis cyanostigma (Valenciennes, 1828)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

Contributions to BioLib

Help us to expand this encyclopedia! If you are logged in, you can add new subtaxa, vernacular and scientific names, texts, images or intertaxon relationships for this taxon.