Taxon profile


Rock Grouper
Epinephelus fasciatomaculosus (Peters, 1865)

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 fasciatomaculosus Peters, 1865
Epinephelus fasciatomaculatus (Peters, 1865)

Data Deficient DD


Body depth contained 2.8 to 3.3 times in standard length (for fish 9 to 29 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.4 to 2.6 times in standard length; interorbital area and dorsal head profile slightly convex; preopercle angular, the serrae at the angle slightly enlarged; upper edge of operculum straight; nostrils subequal; maxilla reaches about to below rear third of eye or a little past eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 or 3 rows of subequal teeth. Gill rakers 7 or 8 on upper limb, 14 to 16 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 15 to 17 rays, the third or fourth spine longest, its length contained 2.5 to 3.1 times in head length, and a little shorter than longest dorsal-fin rays, the interspinous membranes incised; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral-fin rays 17 to 19; pectoral-fin length contained 1.5 to 1.8 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching past anus, their length contained 1.9 to 2.3 times in head length; caudal fin rounded. Lateral-body scales ctenoid, with auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 48 to 52; lateral scale series 92 to 106.
Colour: Head and body pale greyish brown, with numerous small dark brown, brownish yellow, or russet spots; 3 to 5 slightly oblique broad dark bars usually visible on body, the last covering peduncle, the first 4 extending into dorsal fin; the first 2 bars are darker dorsally and extend to the margin of spinous dorsal fin; ventral parts of head and body whitish or pinkish; soft dorsal, caudal, and anal fins with faint pale spots and streaks; minute gold tag often visible at tips of some dorsal-fin spines. Dark body bars faint in adults and may be lost in preservative, except for dorsal part of first two bars.


Western Pacific from southern Japan to Taiwan, Philippines, Viet Nam, China, Hong Kong, Hainan, and Sarawak.


E. fasciatomaculosus occurs in shallow rocky areas. According to Chan (1968), it feeds on fishes, prawns, crabs, worms, and gastropods. Age and growth and reproduction of Taiwanese fish were studied by Chen et al. (1980a and b, identified as ‘Epinephelus diacanthus”). Maximum size and age were 239 mm standard length at age 6. The von Bertalanffy growth equation was given as standard length = 228 (1-e-0.3571(t+0.6993)). The weight/length equation was reported as W = 1.621 x 10-5 standard lengths3.089 8 where W is the weight in grammes of the eviscerated fish and standard length is in millimetre. This species is protogynous. Females are mature at 125 mm standard length, and most sexual transition occurs in fish 2 or 3 years old (14 to 16 cm). Fecundity ranged from 64 000 (age 1-year, 126 mm standard length) to 233 000 (age 6-years, 189 mm standard length) maturing ova per female.


Maximum size is about 30 cm total length.

Interchangeable taxa

In their Colour Guide to the Fishes of the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea, Tan et al. (1982) published a photograph of Epinephelus bleekeri on the plate opposite the species account for E. fasciatomaculosus. But the correct photograph of E. fasciatomaculosus appears on the errata page supplied with their publication. E. fasciatomaculosus is very similar to the sympatric E. akaara in meristic and most morphometric features. The dark bars on the body of E. akaara are fainter and they extend only onto the base of the dorsal fin; the prominent spots on the head and body are red, orange, or gold (pale in alcohol), and there are dusky yellow or orange spots on the spinous dorsal fin. Comparing fishes of 13 to 23 cm standard length, E. fasciatomaculosus has a slightly larger eye and more slender caudal peduncle (ratio of peduncle depth/eye diameter is 1.0 to 1.4, and in E. akaara it is 1.5 to 2.0).


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 [6467]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8464]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus fasciatomaculosus (Peters, 1865)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132769]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus fasciatomaculosus (Peters, 1865)]
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 fasciatomaculosus (Peters, 1865)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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