Taxon profile


Tonga Grouper
Epinephelus chlorocephalus (Valenciennes, 1830)

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 chlorocephalus Valenciennes, 1830

Data Deficient DD


Body depth contained 3.4 times in standard length (1 specimen known, 171 mm standard length). Head length contained 2.6 times in standard length. Head pointed, the interorbital area flat, and the dorsal profile slightly convex; preopercle subangular, with 5 distinctly enlarged serrae at the angle; upper edge of operculum straight; maxilla not reaching past vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of teeth. Gill rakers 8 on upper limb and 15 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 17 rays, the fourth spine longest, its length contained 2.45 times in head length; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral fins with 18 rays; pectoral-fin length contained 1.75 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching anus, their length contained 1.9 times in head length; caudal fin rounded. Lateral-body scales ctenoid; lateral-line scales 52 to 54. Second supraneural bone curved, shaped like the suture needle used by surgeons.
Colour: (Colour description translated from Valenciennes, who presumably took it from notes of Quoy and Gaimard.) Dorsal part of head and snout green, the cheeks pale green; body greenish with 7 to 8 alternating stripes of greenish brown and yelloworange; dorsal and anal fins greenish, spotted with reddish brown at base; paired fins light greenish without spots; caudal fin greenish with faint reddish bars. The colour pattern of the holotype is now completely faded.


E. chlorocephalus is known only from the Tonga Islands.




The only known specimen is 17 cm standard length.

Interesting facts

The absence of additional specimens of E. chlorocephalus is puzzling.


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 [7337]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8478]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus chlorocephalus (Valenciennes, 1830)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [64397]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus chlorocephalus (Valenciennes, 1830)]
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 chlorocephalus (Valenciennes, 1830)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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