Taxon profile


Blue and Yellow Grouper
Epinephelus flavocaeruleus (Lacépède, 1802)

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

Holocentrus flavocaeruleus Lacépède, 1802
Serranus flavocaeruleus (Lacépède, 1802)
Serranus areolatus (non Forsskål, 1775)
Serranus borbonius Quoy & Gaimard, 1824
Serranus borbonicus Quoy & Gaimard, 1824
Holocentrus caerulescens Shaw, 1803
Serranus delissii Bennett, 1831
Cynichthys flavapurpuratus Swainson, 1839
Perca flavapurpurea Bennett, 1830
Epinephelus flavo-caeruleus (Lacépède, 1802)

Other names

= Blue and Yellow Reef Cod

= Yellowfin Grouper
= Yellowtail Reefcod

Least Concern LC


juvenile animal

CZ   EN  


Body deep and compressed, the depth contained 2.3 to 2.7 times in standard length, body width contained 2.0 to 2.8 times in depth (for fish 13 to 66 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.4 to 2.7 times in standard length; preorbital depth contained 6.75 to 8.75 times in head length for fish 36 to 66 cm standard length; interorbital area convex; posterior nostrils of adults 4 or 5 times larger than anterior nostrils; preopercle subangular, the serrae at angle enlarged; upper edge of operculum straight or slightly convex; maxilla reaches to or slightly past vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 to 4 rows of teeth. Gill rakers 8 to 10 on upper limb, 15 to 17 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 16 or 17 rays, the third or fourth spine longest, its length contained 2.5 to 3.0 times in head length and subequal to longest rays, the interspinous membranes not incised; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral-fin rays 18 to 20; pectoral-fin length contained 1.7 to 2.1 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching anus (except in fish 15 cm standard length) but often longer than pectoral fins, its length contained 1.7 to 2.0 times in head length: caudal fin truncate. Lateral-body scales ctenoid, with a few auxiliary scales in adults; lateral-line scales 61 to 74; lateral-scale series 129 to 148.
Colour: Head and body dark bluish violet to dark greyish blue, sometimes flecked with pale blue; fins and jaws bright yellow; some fish with corners of caudal fin, margin of soft dorsal and anal fins and tips of pelvic fins blackish. Yellow diminishes with growth, and large adults are dark greyish, dark blue, violet, chestnut brown, or almost black.


Indian Ocean from Djibouti south to Algoa Bay, South Africa (34ºS) and eastward to the Andaman Sea and Sabang Island at the northwest tip of Sumatera (Sumatra), including Mozambique, Zanzibar, Kenya, Reunion, Mauritius, St. Brandon’s Shoals, Seychelles, Lakshadweep Islands, Chagos, Rodriguez, Sri Lanka, and Andaman Islands. Not known from the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf.


Juveniles of E. flavocaeruleus (to about 40 cm total length) are found on shallow coral reefs, but adults are more common on deeper reefs, to depths of 150 m. Feeds on a variety of fishes, crabs, shrimps, spiny lobsters; squids, and small octopuses. Females are mature at about 50 cm standard length (Morgans, 1982).


Maximum size at least 80 cm total length and 9 kg.

Interchangeable taxa

E. flavocaeruleus is closely related to E. multinotatus of the northern and western Indian Ocean, and E. cyanopodus of the western and central Pacific. These 3 species have similar meristic and morphological features, including a deep body, truncate caudal fin, interspinous dorsal-fin membranes not incised, pelvic fins subequal to pectoral fins, and posterior nostrils enlarged in adults. The only significant differences for these 3 species are their colour patterns. A fourth species, E. trophis, known only from 2 juveniles collected off Western Australia, may also belong in this species complex. It has the same meristic and morphological characters, except the caudal fin is slightly convex, which is often the case in juveniles of species with truncate caudal fins; and it also differs in colour pattern from the other 3 species.


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 [7345]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8467]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus flavocaeruleus (Lacepède, 1802)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132726]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus flavocaeruleus (Lacepède, 1802)]
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 flavocaeruleus (Lacépède, 1802)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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