Taxon profile


Gulf Coney
Hyporthodus acanthistius (Gilbert, 1892)

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

Scientific synonyms

Bodianus acanthistius Gilbert, 1892
Epinephelus acanthistius (Gilbert, 1892)
Cephalopholis acanthistius (Gilbert, 1892)
Cephalopholis popino Walford, 1936

Least Concern LC


Body depth contained 2.4 to 2.6 times in standard length (in fish 10 to 50 cm standard length), Head length contained 2.3 to 2.4 times in standard length; interorbital area convex; preopercle rounded, finely serrate, the serrae at the angle enlarged but covered by skin; upper edge of operculum distinctly convex. Gill rakers 10 or 11 on upper limb and 14 to 17 on lower limb, total 25 to 27. Dorsal fin with IX spines and 17 rays; adults with second to fourth dorsal-fin spines greatly elongated and the interspinous membranes deeply incised; anal fin with III spines (the third longest) and 9 rays; pectoral-fin rays 18 or 19; pelvic-fin origin in front of lower end of pectoral-fin base; pelvic fins shorter than pectoral fins; caudal fin rounded. Midlateral-body scales ctenoid; distal parts of soft dorsal, anal, and caudal fins without scales; lateral-line scales 61 to 64; lateral-scale series 93 to 98.
Colour: Head and body dark red or brown; pectoral fins darker than body; tips of interspinous dorsal-fin membranes darker than rest of membranes; naked distal portion of soft dorsal, anal, and caudal fins darker thanproximal(scaly)parts of these fins: prominent black moustache streak above maxilla.


Southern California to Peru.


H. acanthistius is a common species in the Gulf of California. Although occasionally caught close to shore, it is usually found in depths of 46 to 90 m (Thomson et al., 1979).


Attains at least 100 cm total length.


Jordan and Evermann (1898) proposed the monotypic subgenus Enneistus for this fish, and Jordan et al. (1930) elevated this taxon to a genus. Although it has only IX dorsal-fin spines, this species has bisegmentai pterygiophores in the dorsal and anal-fin supports, as is typical for species of Epinephelus; it also lacks the knob at the lower rear corner of the maxilla that is seen in adults of Cephalopholis. And it is similar to species of the H. niveatus species-complex in having the origin of the pelvic fins located in front of the pectoral-fin base and in having large dark-coloured pelvic fins. According to the biochemical data presented by Lopez Lemus (1988), H. acanthistius is quite distinct from Cephalopholis panamensis as well as Epinephelus analogus and E. labriformis.


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.
Craig, Matthew T., and Hastings, Philip A., A molecular phylogeny of the groupers of the subfamily Epinephelinae (Serranidae) with a revised classification of the Epinephelini, Ichthyological Research (2007) 54: 1–17.
Author: Petr Čech

Links and literature

CH DE EN FR IT NL PR SP FishBase [9205]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8434]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Hyporthodus acanthistius (Gilbert, 1892)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132730]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Hyporthodus acanthistius (Gilbert, 1892)]
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 Hyporthodus acanthistius (Gilbert, 1892)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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