Taxon profile


Barred-chest Grouper
Epinephelus faveatus (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 faveatus Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus bontoo Valenciennes, 1828

Data Deficient DD


Body depth contained 3.0 to 3.5 times in standard length (for fish 9 to 26 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.3 to 2.6 times in standard length; interorbital area flat or slightly concave, the dorsal head profile convex; preopercle rounded, with shallow indentation just above corner and slightly enlarged serrae at the corner; upper edge of operculum slightly convex; nostrils subequal; maxilla reaches past vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of teeth. Gill rakers 7 to 10 on upper limb, 14 to 16 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 16 to 18 rays, the third or fourth spine longest, its length contained 2.6 to 3.9 times in head length and shorter than longest dorsal-fin rays, the interspinous membranes incised; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays, the second and third spines subequal, their length contained 3.6 to 4.3 times in head length; pectoral-fin rays 17 to 19; pectoral-fin length contained 1.7 to 2.2 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching anus, their length contained 2.2 to 2.6 times in head length; caudal-peduncle depth contained 3.8 to 4.3 times in head length; caudal fin rounded; length of middle rays contained 1.65 to 1.9 times in head length. Lateral-body scales smooth (except for area covered by pectoral fin), with numerous auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 48 to 52; lateral-scale series 83 to 98. Pyloric caeca about 25.
Colour: Head, body, and fins pale, covered with close-set roundish brown spots of unequal size, most of those on body larger than pupil; 4 groups of 2 or 3 spots at base of dorsal fin darker than other spots on body; 2 oblique dark bands on side of chest; pectoral fins dusky, with dark blotch at the base and obscure dark spots more distinct on inner surface of fin; spots on median fins darker than those on body.


Northeastern Indian Ocean: Southern India, (Trivandrum, Kovalam, Vizhinjam, Tuticorin, Mandapam and Madras), Sri Lanka (Negombo, Colombo, Hikkaduwa, Batticaloa and Trincomalee), and southern Indonesia (Bali and Lombok). E. faveatus has only recently been recognized and distinguished from similar species, so it is likely that its distribution is continuous from Pakistan to Indonesia. The record from the Chagos Archipelago by Winterbottom et al. (1989) is based on E. macrospilos.


E. faveatus is a shallow water species of coral reefs and rocky areas. It appears to be a small species; a 17 cm standard length fish from Sri Lanka (USNM 270893) has fairly well-developed ovaries.


Maximum size known 32 cm total length.

Interchangeable taxa

E. faveatus is one of 9 similar shallow-water coral reef species that have a rounded caudal fin and close-set dark brown spots with the pale interspaces forming a network on the body. These “reticulated groupers” have been much confused in the literature, and many museum specimens have been misidentified. These other species differ from E. faveatus as follows:

E. bilobatus has the lateral-body scales ctenoid, a series of 3 bilobed dark blotches or close-set pairs of dark brown to black spots along base of dorsal fin and adjacent body, third or fourth dorsal-fin spine longest (its length contained 2.1 to 2.5 times in head length), and longest anal-fin spine contained 2.5 to 3.2 times in head length.

E. hexagonatus has the dark spots mostly hexagonal and partially merging, leaving only a conspicuous white triangular dot at each corner of the dark spots; no dark bands on chest; lateral-body scales ctenoid; lateral-line scales 61 to 70; and second anal-fin spine 2.1 to 2.5 times in head length.

E. macrospilos has 15 to 17 dorsal-fin rays, chest and pectoral-fin base with dark spots (not bands), and pectoral fins mostly dusky with pale edge.

E. maculatus has the dorsal-fin membranes not incised between the spines, pelvic-fin length contained 1.7 to 2.0 times in head length, lateral-body scales distinctly ctenoid, longest dorsal-fin spine contained 2.1 to 2.6 times in head length, and juveniles yellowish brown, with large irregular white blotches.

E. melanostigma has a large black blotch on body and dorsal fin at base of last 3 spines, no dark bands on chest, lateral-body scales ctenoid, lateral-line scales 57 to 61, and 3 to 5 rows of teeth at side of lower jaw.

E. merra has pectoral and median fins with prominent small dark spots (much smaller than spots on body), no dark bands on chest, lateral-body scales ctenoid, and lateral-scale series 98 to 114.

E. quoyanus has the lateral-body scales distinctly ctenoid, larger pectoral fins (their length contained 1.2 to 1.7 times in head length) and middle length of caudal-fin rays contained 1.3 to 1.6 times in head length.

E. spilotoceps has no dark bands on chest, spots on front of head less than twice size of nostrils, lateral-body scales ctenoid, lateral-line scales 59 to 69, and dorsal-fin rays 14 to 16.


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 [7344]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8466]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus faveatus (Valenciennes, 1828)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132760]

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

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