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Taxon profile

species

Poey's Grouper
Hyporthodus flavolimbatus (Poey, 1865)

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 flavolimbatus Poey, 1865

Other names

= White Grouper
= Yellowedge Grouper
= Yellowfin Grouper

IUCN category:Vulnerable

Description

Body depth distinctly less than head length, depth contained 2.7 to 2.9 times in standard length (for fish 13 to 64 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.4 to 2.6 times in standard length; interorbital area convex; preopercle angular, the serrae at angle distinctly enlarged and, in large fish, the angle is produced into a flat serrate lobe; eye diameter equal to or greater than interorbital width in fish less than 45 cm standard length; nostrils subequal. Gill rakers 8 or 9 on upper limb and 15 to 17 on lower limb, total 23 to 25. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 13 to 15 rays, the third or fourth spine longest and the membranes only slightly incised between the anterior spines; anal fin with III spines and 9 rays; pectoral-fin rays 1’7 or 18; rear margin of caudal fin convex in fish less than 30 cm standard length, truncate or slightly concave in larger fish. Lateral-body scales ctenoid; lateral-line scales about 65; lateral-scale series 82 to 99.
Colour: Head and body buff or greyish brown, whitish ventrally; margins of dorsal and pectoral fins, and sometimes anal and caudal fins yellow (yellow margins reduced or absent in large adults): pale blue line from eye to corner of preopercle (very faint in adults). Juveniles 5 to 10 cm standard length with pearly spots arranged in 4 longitudinal rows and 7 vertical columns; dorsal fin with broad yellow margin; caudal fin white; anal and pelvic fins blackish; black saddle on peduncle (if present) ends abruptly at lateral line. Adults generally immaculate, but sometimes they may (momentarily) display the white-spotted grid pattern of juveniles.

Distribution

Western Atlantic from North Carolina to southern Brazil, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean; not known at Bermuda.

Ecology

The yellowedge grouper is found in rocky areas and on sand/mud bottom in depths of 64 to 275 m. On soft bottoms they are often seen in or near trenches or burrow-like excavations. Females attain maturity at 52 to 60 cm total length and are thought to change sex at a total length of about 75 cm; the maximum age is at least 20 years. This species feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates (mainly brachyuran crabs) and fishes.

Size

Maximum total length about 115 cm; maximum weight at least 14 kg.

Interchangeable taxa

H. flavolimbatus is similar to H. niveatus in fin counts and colour pattern of the juveniles; but juveniles of H. flavolimbatus have a blue line from eye to the corner of the preopercle, fewer white spots on the body, and the black saddle on the peduncle does not extend below the lateral line. In large juveniles and small adults of H. flavolimbatus, the spinous dorsal fin has a yellow or yellowish green margin, and the membrane is only slightly indented between the spines; but in H. niveatus the spinous part of the dorsal fin is uniformly coloured or with a blackish margin, and the interspinous dorsal-fin membranes are distinctly indented.

Sources

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.

Craig, Matthew T., and Hastings, Philip A., A molecular phylogeny of the groupers of the subfamily Epinephelinae (Serranidae) with a revised classification of the Epinephelini, Ichthyological Research (2007) 54: 1–17.
Author: Petr Čech

Links and literature

CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8468]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [http://aquatab.net] [as Hyporthodus flavolimbatus (Poey, 1865)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
CH DE EN FR IT NL PR SP FishBase [1205]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase [http://www.fishbase.org]
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013.2 [64400]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [http://www.iucnredlist.org/] [as Hyporthodus flavolimbatus (Poey, 1865)]
Data retrieved on: 27 January 2014

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