Taxon profile


Leopard Cod
Cephalopholis leopardus (Lacépède, 1801)

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

Labrus leopardus Lacépède, 1801
Serranus leopardus (Lacépède, 1801)
Epinephelus leopardus (Lacépède, 1801)
Cephalopholis leoparda (Lacépède, 1801)
Serranus homfrayi Day, 1871
Serranus spilurus Valenciennes, 1833
Epinephelus urodelops Schultz, 1943

Other names

= Leopard Coralcod
= Leopard Grouper
= Leopard Hind
= Leopard Rock Cod
= Leopard Rockcod
= Red-spotted Rock Cod
= Red-spotted Rock-cod

Least Concern LC


Body depth less than head length, contained 2.5 to 2.8 times in standard length (for fish 5 to 14 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.2 to 2.4 times in standard length; interorbital area flat; preopercle rounded, finely serrate, the lower edge fleshy; subopercle and interopercle smooth; upper edge of operculum distinctly convex; maxilla extends past eye. Gill rakers 7 to 9 on upper limb, 15 to 17 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with IX spines and 13 to 15 rays; anal fin with III spines and 9 or 10 rays: pectoral-fin rays 16 to 18; pectoral-fin length contained 1.4 to 1.6 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching anus, their length contained 2.0 to 2.3 times in head length; caudal fin well rounded. Body scales ctenoid, no auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 47 to 50; lateral-scale series 79 to 88.
Colour: Head and body mottled reddish brown, paler ventrally with numerous red-orange or pinkish red spots: dark brown saddle on caudal peduncle and a similar, but much smaller spot just behind; dark brown or reddish submarginal streak on upper part of caudal fin and a fainter reddish streak on lower part of fin; dark brown spot at rear end of operculum; pectoral fins yellowish on some fish.


Western Indian Ocean to the central Pacific, including east African coast from Kenya to about 15ºS, most islands of the Indian Ocean, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Okinawa, Papua New Guinea, northern Australia, and most islands of the west-central Pacific. C. leopardus is absent from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.


Well-developed coral reefs in depths of 3 to 38 m. Morgans (1982) reported crustacean remains in the two specimens containing food that he examined. Like most small groupers, this is a secretive species, which is usually hiding in caves and crevices in the reef.


Maximum total length 20 cm (larger sizes reported in the literature are unsubstantiated). This is one of the smallest species of groupers known.


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 [6448]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/5346]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Cephalopholis leopardus (Lacepède, 1801)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132737]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Cephalopholis leopardus (Lacepède, 1801)]
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 leopardus (Lacépède, 1801)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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