Taxon profile


Marquesan Grouper
Epinephelus irroratus (Forster, 1801)

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

Percam irroratum Forster, 1801
Perca irrorata Forster, 1801
Epinephelus albopunctulatus Boulenger, 1895
Serranus spiniger Günther, 1859
Epinephelus spiniger (Günther, 1859)

Least Concern LC


Body depth contained 2.7 to 3.3 times in standard length (for fish 14 to 28 cm standard length). Head length contained 2.4 to 2.6 times in standard length; interorbital area and dorsal head profile slightly convex: preopercle corner rounded and slightly indented, the lower serrae scarcely enlarged; upper edge of operculum almost straight; posterior nostrils about twice the size of anterior nostrils; maxilla reaching to or just past vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 to 4 rows of teeth. Gill rakers 6 to 8 on upper limb, 13 to 16 on lower limb. Dorsal fin with XI spines and 16 rays, the second spine greatly elongated in adults, more than twice length of third spine, the interspinous membranes not or only slightly incised; anal fin with III spines and 8 rays; pectoral-fin rays 18 to 20; pectoral-fin length contained 1.6 to 1.9 times in head length; pelvic fins not reaching past anus, their length contained 1.8 to 2.0 times in head length; caudal fin truncate to slightly rounded. Lateral-body scales ctenoid, with auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 70 to 75; lateral-scale series 117 to 136.
Colour: Reddish brown with white dot on each scale (dots may not persist in preservative); maxillary streak dark reddish brown; spinous dorsal fin with prominent dark red margin; white line along rear edges of median and pectoral fins.


E. irroratus is known only from the Marquesas Islands and 1 specimen from Minami Tori Shima (Marcus Island); the latter record may be erroneous.


Abundant in shallow water around fringing coral reefs. Nothing has been published on the biology of this species.


Attains at least 34 cm total length.

Interesting facts

Except for the single specimen reported from Minami Tori Shima Island by Bryan and Herre (1903), E. irroratus is known only from the Marquesas Islands where it is a relatively common inshore species. In view of the vast distance (about 7 500 km) between these two localities, the absence of other records outside the Marquesas, and the failure to find the species during two weeks of fish collecting by Randall at Minami Tori Shima; it seems likely that this report of E. irroratus may be based on a locality error.


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 [7393]

Froese R., Pauly D. (eds.): FishBase []
CZ AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [species/8481]

Plíštil J. (Ed.) (2009): AQUATAB. World Wide Web electronic publication [] [as Epinephelus irroratus (Forster, 1801)]
Data retrieved on: 17 January 2010
EN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1 [44676]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [] [as Epinephelus irroratus (Forster, 1801)]
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 irroratus (Forster, 1801)]
Data retrieved on: 19 August 2019

Contributions to BioLib

Help us to expand this encyclopedia! If you are logged in, you can add new subtaxa, vernacular and scientific names, texts, images or intertaxon relationships for this taxon.