Taxon profile


Back Rockcod
Epinephelus daemelii (Günther, 1876)

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 daemelii Günther, 1876
Epinephelus damelii (Günther, 1876)
Epinephelus forsythi Whitley, 1937

Other names

= Black Rockcod

Near Threatened NT


Body depth contained 2.9 to 3.3 times in standard length (for fish 11 to 45 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.3 to 2.5 times in standard length; interorbital area flat to slightly convex; dorsal head profile almost straight; preopercle rounded, finely serrate; opercular spines inconspicuous; upper edge of operculum distinctly convex; posterior nostrils of adults enlarged, 2 to 4 times larger than anterior nostrils; maxilla reaches past vertical at rear edge of eye; canines at front of jaws well developed, particularly the inner depressible teeth at symphysis of upper jaw; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of large teeth. Gill rakers 9 to 12 on upper limb, 15 to 19 on lower limb, 25 to 28 total; longest gill raker shorter than longest gill filaments. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 14 rays, the third to last spines subequal and shorter than longest dorsal-fin rays and the interspinous membranes incised; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral fins large and fleshy, with 17 to 19 rays; pectoral-fin length contained 1.6 to 2.1 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching anus, their length contained 2.1 to 2.5 times in head length; caudal fin rounded. Lateral-body scales smooth (except for area covered by pectoral fins), with auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 63 to 71; lateral-scale series 111 to 126.
Colour: Head and body greyish brown or dark greenish brown with small irregular pale yellow or whitish spots; black saddle blotch on peduncle. Juveniles and subadults with 4 irregular, oblique, dark brown bars on body and a dark band from nape to eye; median and pelvic fins with narrow white margins on some fish. Large adults often uniformly dark brown or black, the underside of head pale and a few pale spots on cheeks.


Temperate and subtropical waters of the southwestern Pacific: Australia, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Kermadec Islands, and New Zealand (North Island and Poor Knights Islands). The Australian range extends from southern Queensland to Kangaroo Island off South Australia; reported from the Bass Strait, but not known from the coast of Tasmania.


Rocky reefs from near shore to depths of at least 50 m. E. daemelii is an aggressive territorial species that may occupy a particular cave for life. According to Francis (1988), sexual transition occurs at a length of 100 to 110 cm. Juveniles feed on crabs and fishes.


Attains at least 122 cm total length and a weight of 64 kg.


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 [7338]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8456]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus daemelii (Günther, 1876)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [61337]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus daemelii (Günther, 1876)]
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 daemelii (Günther, 1876)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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