Taxon profile


Cloudy Grouper
Epinephelus erythrurus (Valenciennes, 1828)

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 erythrurus Valenciennes, 1828
Epinephelus townsendi Boulenger, 1898

Data Deficient DD


Body depth contained 2.8 to 3.2 times in standard length (for fish 11 to 28 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.4 to 2.7 times in standard length; interorbital area flat, the dorsal head profile almost straight; preopercle rounded, finely serrate, the lower serrae slightly enlarged; upper edge of operculum straight, except for bend at upper end; posterior nostrils about twice size of anterior nostrils; maxilla reaches to or beyond vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 or 3 rows of teeth; canines at front of jaws inconspicuous. Gill rakers 8 or 9 on upper limb, 14 to 17 on lower limb; gill rakers shorter than gill filaments.Dorsal fin with XI spines and 15 to 17 rays, the third to ninth spines subequal, the longest contained 3.0 to 3.75 times in head length and distinctly shorter than longest ray; interspinous membranes of dorsal fin not incised or moderately incised; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays: pectoral fins with 17 to 19 rays; pectoral-fin length contained 1.7 to 2.2 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching anus, their length contained 2.3 to 2.5 times in head length; caudal fin well rounded. Lateral-body scales distinctly ctenoid, with auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 53 to 62; lateral-scale series 92 to 107. Pyloric caeca about 6.
Colour: Olive to reddish brown, usually with irregular pale spots and blotches that join randomly to form an irregular dark reticulum of the background colour; 3 dark streaks across operculum, first (broadest and darkest) from eye to lower edge of opercular flap, second from lower edge of eye to subopercle, and third (faintest) from dark maxillary streak to lower edge of preopercle; median and pelvic fins mottled; pectoral fins uniform. Some specimens, especially the larger ones, nearly uniform brown or with the pale blotches on body only faintly visible.


E. erythrurus is known from Pakistan, India, Laccadive (Lakshadweep) Islands, Sri Lanka, Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Borneo.


Harbours and estuaries with muddy or silty-sand bottoms. Nothing has been published on the biology of E. erythrurus. Heemstra and Randall (1993) examined a fish of 163 mm standard length with ripe ova.


Maximum size about 43 cm total length.

Interchangeable taxa

The painting identified as Epinephelus nebulosus in Bleeker’s (1875-77) Atlas (Vol. 8, pl. 339, fig. 3) is undoubtedly E. erythrurus, but the holotype of Serranus nebulosus Valenciennes, 1828, appears to be a specimen of E. coioides.


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 [7343]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8462]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus erythrurus (Valenciennes, 1828)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132785]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus erythrurus (Valenciennes, 1828)]
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 erythrurus (Valenciennes, 1828)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

Contributions to BioLib

Help us to expand this encyclopedia! If you are logged in, you can add new subtaxa, vernacular and scientific names, texts, images or intertaxon relationships for this taxon.