Taxon profile


Bridled Grouper
Epinephelus heniochus Fowler, 1904

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

Epinephelus hata Katayama, 1953

Data Deficient DD


Body depth contained 2.7 to 3.2 times in standard length (for fish 10 to 27 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.2 to 2.4 times in stgndard length; interorbital area slightly convex: dorsal head profile distinctly convex; preopercle angular, with 2 to 4 large spines at the angle; upper edge of operculum approximately straight; posterior nostrils about twice as large as anterior nostrils; maxilla usually reaches to or slightly past a vertical at rear edge of eye; lower edge of maxilla with a step-like bend in adults; canines at front of jaws well developed, especially in upper jaw; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of teeth. Gill rakers 7 to 9 on upper limb, 14 to 16 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 14 or 15 rays, the third or fourth spine longest, its length contained 3.0 to 3.8 times in head length and shorter than longest dorsal-fin rays; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral-fin rays 16 to 18; pectoral-fin length contained 1.6 to 1.9 times and pelvic-fin length contained 1.9 to 2.4 times in head length; caudal fin rounded. Lateral-body scales ctenoid, without auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 54 to 60; lateral-scale series 89 to 100. Pyloric caeca 7 or 8.
Colour: Head and body pale brown dorsally, shading to whitish or pale pink ventrally; some specimens with minute brownish black dots on body and rear part of head; faint dark brown stripe from eve to end of operculum, another darker stripe from lower edge of eye to subopercle and a third from edge of preorbital to interopercle; pectoral fins hyaline greyish yellow; lower part of caudal fin sometimes darker than rest of fin; margin of interspinous dorsal-fin membranes yellow. The fish illustrated by Gloerfelt-Tarp and Kailola (1984) has a narrow dark brown margin along the rear edge of the caudal fin.


Tropical western Pacific; E. heniochus is known with certainty from Indonesia, the Philippines; Gulf of Thailand, Viet Nam, northern Australia, and New Britain. Although Katayama’s type specimens of Epinephelus hata were purchased from the Nagasaki fish market, the absence of other records of E. heniochus from Japan indicates that the types of E. hata may have been caught south of Japan.


E. heniochus seems to prefer soft (sedimentary) bottom, rather than rocky areas: most specimens have been taken with trawls on mud or silty sand bottom in depths of 40 to 235 m. Nothing has been published on the biology of this species.


Attains at least 35 cm standard length (43 cm total length).

Interchangeable taxa

E. heniochus is similar to E. epistictus. These two species share the following characters: distinctly enlarged serrae at the corner of the preopercle, 14 or 15 dorsal-fin rays, interspinous dorsal-fin membranes distinctly incised, midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of teeth, similar morphometric features, and similarities in colour pattern. E. epistictus differs from E. heniochus in having more numerous scales (lateral-line scales 57 to 70 and lateral-scale series 105 to 127) and the dark brown or black dots on the body and rear part of head are conspicuous and larger than the exposed part of each scale and extend onto the dorsal and caudal fins; whereas, the dark dots of E. heniochus (if they are present) are faint and smaller than the exposed parts of the scales, and the dorsal and caudal fins are usually unspotted.


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 [7347]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8474]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus heniochus Fowler, 1904]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [132798]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus heniochus Fowler, 1904]
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 heniochus Fowler, 1904]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

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