Taxon profile


Epinephelus guttatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

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

Perca guttata Linnaeus, 1758
Serranus arara Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus catus Valenciennes, 1828
Epinephelus cubanus Poey, 1865
Lutianus lunulatus (non Park, 1797)
Serranus maculosus Valenciennes, 1828
Holocentrus punctatus Bloch, 1790
Serranus stathouderi Vaillant & Bocourt, 1878

Other names

= Koon
= Lucky Grouper
= Red Hind

Least Concern LC


Epinephelus guttatus - Deady

Author: B. Kao


Body depth distinctly less than head length, depth contained 2.7 to 3.1 times in standard length (for fish 17 to 38 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.3 to 2.4 times in standard length; preopercle evenly serrate, without salient angle; posterior nostrils larger than anteriors. Gill rakers 8 or 9 on upper limb, 16 to 18 on lower limb, total 24 to 26. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 15 or 16 rays, the third or fourth spine longest, the interspinous membrane incised and produced into a short flag behind tip of each spine; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral-fin rays 16 to 18; rear edge of caudal fin rounded. Lateral-body scales ctenoid, 92 to 104 lateral-scale series.
Colour: Ground colour buff, greenish white, or pale reddish brown, the head and body covered with bright red spots, the dorsal spots reddish brown; spinous dorsal fin olive with yellow flags at tips of the spines; soft dorsal, caudal, and anal fins olivaceous, with a broad blackish submarginal band and narrow pale edge; pectoral fins pale orange-red with darker red spots on the base; pelvic fins coloured like body but darker distally and along leading edge.


Tropical western Atlantic, ranging north to North Carolina and south to Venezuela; the most common species of Epinephelus in the West Indies.


Shallow reefs and rocky bottoms in depths of 2 to at least 100 m. According to Randall (1,967) red hind feed mainly on crabs (40%), other crustaceans (27%), fishes (21%), and octopus (7%). The crabs taken belong to the genera Calapa and Mithrax, the other crustaceans are mainly alpheid shrimps and scyllarid lobsters; preferred reef fishes are labrids and haemulids. Luckhorst et al. (1992) reported a 72 cm total length specimen from Bermuda that was estimated to be 22 years old. Females become mature at 22 to 24 cm total length, and sexual inversion occurs for some fish at 28 cm total length; most fish larger than 40 cm are males. Colin et al. (1987) observed spawning aggregations of E. guttatus on the outer reef top in 20 m off the south coast of Puerto Rico. Spawning occurred during the full moon in January and February. Ripe females were recognized by their swollen abdomens and colour pattern of dark spots on a white background; males displayed a darker mottled pattern with an area of dark vertical bars or squares on the body above the anal fin. Females rested on or close to the bottom, while males patrolled around an area that included 1 to 5 females and defended this territory from other males. On two occasions, spawning was initiated by a female swimming about 0.5 m up off the bottom and being joined by a male; gametes were released without any upward rush or rapid movement. In one case, another female joined the pair above the bottom and spawned with them. The ripe eggs are buoyant, clear, nearly spherical (0.97 x 0.96 mm) and usually contain a single oil globule 0.22 mm in diameter; some eggs had multiple smaller oil globules. The perivitelline space was about 0.01 mm in width. Hatching occurred 27 h after fertilization at 26.5oC; after 6 or 7 days mortality greatly increased, and no larva survived through metamorphosis (Colin et al., 1987). Fecundity varies from 90 thousand for a 26 cm (total length) fish to over 3 million eggs in a 45 cm (total length) female (Manooch, 1984).


Maximum total length 76 cm; maximum weight 8.3 kg.

Interesting facts

According to Bullock and Smith (1991), commercial fishermen report catching Epinephelus guttatus and E. adscensionis from the same reefs in the eastern gulf of Mexico.


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 [15]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8472]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus guttatus (Linnaeus, 1758)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132770]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus guttatus (Linnaeus, 1758)]
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 guttatus (Linnaeus, 1758)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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