Taxon profile


Banded Rockcod
Hyporthodus ergastularius (Whitley, 1930)

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

Epinephelus ergastularius Whitley, 1930

Other names

= Down-under Grouper

Least Concern LC


Body depth contained 2.6 to 2.9 times in standard lenght (for fish 19 to 89 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.4 to 2.6 times in standard length; interorbitalarea and dorsalhead profile slightly convex; preopercle subangular, finely serrate, the serrae on the rounded corner not enlarged and the ventral edge with 1 to 4 small serrae; upper edge of operculum almost straight; posterior nostrils 2 to 4 times larger than anterior nostrils; maxilla reaches to or almost to vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of teeth. Gill rakers 7 to 9 on upper limb, 14 or 15 on lower limb; sides of gill arch with small bony tooth plates. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 14 or 15 rays, the third spine usually longest, its length contained 2.6 to 3.2 times in head length and subequal to length of longest ray, the interspinous membranes deeply incised; anal fin with III spines and 9 or 10 rays; pectoral-fin rays 18 or 19; pectoral-fin length contained 1.7 to 2.4 times in head length; pelvic fins distinctly shorter than pectoral fins; caudal fin slightly rounded in juveniles, truncate to slightly emarginate in adults. Lateral-body scales ctenoid; no auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 63 to 70; lateral-scale series 103 to 116.
Colour: Body of juveniles brown, with 7 broad dark bars, the last covering most of caudal peduncle, its upper half black; prominent black maxillary streak; median and pelvic fins dark brown; pectoral fins brown. Adults pinkish grey, with no trace of dark bars; fins darker than body and with white margins (except along spinous part of dorsal fin).


E. ergastularius is known only from the east coast of Australia between 18º and 36ºS.


Adults are caught in depths of 108 to 370 m; juveniles are found in 15 to 128 m.


Attains at least 157 cm total length and a weight of 66 kg.

Interchangeable taxa

E. ergastularius is closely related to E. septemfasciatus (which is known only from Japan, Korea, and China) and E. octofasciatus (known from South Africa to New Zealand). These two species have a convex caudal fin in adults, and apparently lack the fine dermal ridges that are present on the body of E. ergastularius at the base of the dorsal fin; also, the pale margins on the fins are poorly developed or absent in these other two species. Juveniles can be distinguished by the spacing of the dark brown bars on the body: on E. ergastularis the pale space separating the second and third dark bars and that between the fourth and fifth bars is distinctly narrower than the interspaces between the third and fourth or fifth and sixth bars; on E. octofasciatus all the pale interspaces are about the same width, and on E. septemfasciatus the pale interspaces are about the same width, except for that between the fifth and sixth dark bars, which is distinctly narrower than the others.


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 [7342]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8461]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus ergastularius Whitley, 1930]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132795]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Hyporthodus ergastularius (Whitley, 1930)]
Data retrieved on: 3 September 2019
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 ergastularius Whitley, 1930]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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