Cephalopholis sonnerati   (Valenciennes,  1828) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Size: 57 cm.

Color: Body and fins brilliant red; head with numerous white spots.

Head 2.5-2.7 in standard length, 3.1-3.5 in total length. Depth of body 2.6-2.9 in standard length, 3.3-3.7 in total length. Eye diameter 5.4-6.2 in head, 1.3-1.6 in snout and about 0.8-1.0 in interorbital space. Broad band of depressible teeth; canines in outer row at symphysis moderate. Maxillary reaching a level beyond hind border of eye. Preopercle margin finely serrated. A pair of moderate canines anteriorly in each jaw. Pectoral fin equal to or a little longer than postorbital length of head. Ventral fin 1/2 eye diameter shorter than postorbital part of head.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: IX, 14-15; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: III, 9; number of rays in the pectoral fin: i, 17; number of spines and rays in the ventral fins: I, 5; number of scale rows along the midside of body from the upper corner of operculum to the midbase of caudal fin in the absence of lateral line: 105-116; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 12-16+1+30-39.

Protogynous, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Cephalopholis aurantius (non Valenciennes, 1828)
(Misapplied name)
Cephalopholis cyanostigma (non Valenciennes, 1828)
(Misapplied name)
Cephalopholis formosanus (non Tanaka, 1911)
(Misapplied name)
Cephalopholis purpureus Fourmanoir, 1966
(Junior synonym)
Epinephelus janthinopterus Bleeker, 1873
(Junior synonym)
Epinephelus multinotatus (non Peters, 1876)
(Misapplied name)
Epinephelus sonnerati (Valenciennes, 1828)
(Senior synonym)
Epinephelus unicolor Bleeker, 1875
(Junior synonym)
Serranus sonnerati Valenciennes, 1828
(Senior synonym)
Serranus unicolor Lienard, 1874
(Ambiguous synonym)
Serranus zananella Valenciennes, 1828
(Junior synonym)
Serranus sonnerati Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1828
Cephalopholis sonnerati Jones and Kumaran, 1959
Enneacentrus sonnerati Munro, 1955
Epinephelus sonnerati Weber and de Beaufort, 1931
Serranus sonnerati Day, 1878
Cephalopolis sonnerati (Valenciennes, 1828)
Cepholopholis sonnerati (Valenciennes, 1828)

Common Name (s)
• Tomato Hind (English)
• Red Rockcod (English)
• Tomato Seabass (English)
• Ryfana (Mahl)
• Chem Kalava (Malayalam)
• Chencheerachammam (Malayalam)
• Choppuchammam (Malayalam)
• Sonna Kalawa (Malayalam)
• Gobra (Marathi)
• Bontoo (Telugu)
• Siggapu Cullawah (Tamil)
• Hekaru (Marathi)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries; marketed fresh or frozen)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Small fishes, shrimps, crabs and stomatopods
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Kerala, Melekkel INDIA (Record: 01/2002-04/2002, 09/2002-12/2002) (Depth: 20-28 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Karnataka, Netrani Island INDIA (Record: 01/2002-04/2002, 09/2002-12/2002) (Depth: 3-16 mts)
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Island (Lat: 8.11) (Long: 73.3) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Ohman, M; Rajasuriya, A and Olafsson, E (1997) Reef fish assemblages in north western Sri Lanka: Distribution patterns and influences of fishing practises Enviornmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 49 45-61
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Tun, MT (2001) Marine fishes of Myanmar (pelagic and demersal) U Than Tun, Director-General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Myanmar 276 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • Sujatha, K (2004) Groupers off Visakhapatnam, northeast coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 46(1) 87-92 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in/PDF/coastal%20data.pdf
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 4 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Fischer, W and Whitehead, PJP (1974) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Indian Ocean - Fishing Area 57 and Western Central Pacific - Fishing Area 71 FAO, Rome 4 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/e9163e/e9163e00.htm
  • Sluka, RD and Lazarus, S (2010) Grouper (Pisces: Serranidae) relative abundance and diversity on the west coast of India Marine Biodiversity Records Cambridge University Press 3 1-3 Available at - http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267210000606
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/569/1/Bulletin_8.pdf
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1959) The fishing industry of Minicoy Island with special reference to the tuna fishery Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Council of Agricultural Research 6 (1) 30-57 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/1866/1/Article_04.pdf
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf

Page last updated on:2011-10-17

Back to Search