Taxon profile


Bleeker's Grouper
Epinephelus bleekeri (Vaillant, 1878)

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

Scientific synonyms

Serranus bleekeri Vaillant, 1878
Acanthistius bleekeri (Vaillant, 1878)
Epinephelus albimaculatus Seale, 1910
Serranus coromandelicus Day, 1878
Serranus waandersi (non Bleeker, 1858)

Other names

= Bleeker's Rock Cod

Near Threatened NT


Body elongate, the depth contained 3.0 to 3.5 times in standard length (for fish 11 to 52 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.4 to 2.7 times in standard length; interorbital area flat to slightly convex; preopercle angle with 2 to 9 enlarged serrae; adults with a notch above preopercle angle; upper edge of operculum straight; maxilla scaly, reaching to or beyond vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of subequal teeth. Gill rakers 9 to 11 on upper limb, 16 to 18 on lower limb, 25 to 28 total. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 16 to 18 rays, third to fifth spines longest, the interspinous membranes incised; anal fin with III spines and 8 or 9 (rarely 9) rays; pectoral-fin rays 17 to 19; pectoral-fin length contained 1.6 to 2.1 times in head length; pelvic-fin length contained 1.9 to 2.5 times in head length; caudal fin truncate or slightly convex. Lateral-body scales ctenoid; adults with a few small auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales.49 to 53; lateral-scale series 99 to 104.
Colour: Head and body brownish, reddish brown or purplish grey, covered (except ventrally) with numerous reddish orange, gold, or yellow spots; dorsal fin and upper third of caudal fin with spots like those on body; lower two-thirds of caudal fin dusky; spots on body of some fish with a faint dark margin; pectoral and pelvic fins and distal part of anal fin dusky; dark streak along maxillary groove. Juveniles (less than 11 cm standard length) with 7 faint dark bars dorsally on body, the first two on nape, the last on caudal peduncle; all bars more or less demarcated by small dark spots; no dark spots on head or fins.


E. bleekeri is an Indo-West Pacific species occurring from the Persian Gulf to Taiwan, Indonesia and the northern coast of Australia. Heemstra and Randall (1993) have examined specimens from Bahrain, Iran, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Borneo, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia. If is not known from Japan or New Guinea, but it may occur there. It has not been found at any of the islands of Micronesia or Polynesia.


E. bleekeri occurs on shallow rocky banks, but it is not known from well-developed coral reefs. The depth range for this species has been reported as 30 to 104 m.


Maximum total length about 76 cm, according to Chan (1968).


It is ironic that E. bleekeri was twice misidentified and then three new names were given to this species. According to information supplied by Dr Marie-Louise Bauchot and Mattine Desoutter, Vaillant’s description of Serranus Bleekeri was published in the second instalment of the work by Vaillant and Bocourt (p. 41 to 120) on 31 October 1877. It thus predates the other replacement name, Serranus Coromandelicus, of Day (1878).


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 [7333]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8445]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus bleekeri (Vaillant, 1878)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132826]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus bleekeri (Vaillant, 1878)]
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 Epinephelus bleekeri (Vaillant, 1878)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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