Epinephelus diacanthus   (Valenciennes,  1828) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 52-55 cm.

Weight: 2-5 kg.

Color: Moderate yellow to pale greyish brown with 5 or 6 distinct vertical dark bars on the body below the dorsal fin with the posterior most bar occurring on the caudal peduncle. The fins are dusk grey.

Body is oblong and moderately compressed with its snout rather pointed. Height 2.9-3, 3.7-3.8 in length with caudal. Head 2.3-2.4, 2.6-3 in total length. Eye 4.8-5, equal to or somewhat less than snout. Interorbital space 1.5 in head. Lower jaw projecting. Mouth somewhat oblique. Maxillary extending to below posterior border of eye, the width of its distal extremity 1/2 to 3/5 diameter of eye. Teeth in narrow bands. Outer row of fixed teeth and canines rather strong. Praeoperculum finely serrated behind, its border forming a right angle. Two or more strong spine at angle. Middle opercular spine nearer to lower than to upper one, lower much further back than upper, opercular flap pointed. Head covered with cycloid scales, maxillary naked or partly scaly. Gillrakers shorter than gill-fringes, 14-15 on lower part of anterior arch. Dorsal originating above base of pectorals, third and fourth spines longest, 1/3 or 1/2 length of head, shorter than longest soft dorsal rays. Second anal spine stronger than and as long as third, much shorter than soft anal rays. Pectorals as long as postorbital part of head, ventrals shorter. Caudal subtruncate in the adult, rounded in the young. Scales ciliated. The body is covered with ctenoid scales which are arranged in 105-120 series along the lateral line. The fins include a single continuous dorsal fin with 11 spines and 15-17 rays, an anal fin with 3 spines and 8-9 rays and depending upon the age of the fish a rounded to slightly truncate caudal fin. The caudal fin in older individuals becomes truncate rather than round.

Fertilization external, oviparous.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Epinephelus dayi Bleeker, 1874
(Junior synonym)
Epinephelus diacanthus (Valenciennes, 1828)
(Senior synonym)
Serranus diacanthus Valenciennes, 1828
(Senior synonym)
Serranus sexfasciatus (non Valenciennes, 1828)
(Misapplied name)
Serranus nebulosus Richardson, 1846
Serranus trimaculatus Bleeker, 1858
Serranus sexfasciatus Gunther, 1859
Serranus diacanthus Kner, 1867
Serranus sexfasciatus Day, 1865
Serranus fasciatomaculatus Peters, 1865
Epinephelus diacanthus Bleeker, 1876
Serranus salmonides Kossmann and Rauber, 1876
Epinephelus fasciatomaculatus Bleeker, 1878
Serranus diacanthus Day, 1888
Epinephelus diacanthus Boulenger, 1895
Epinephelus diacanthus Jordan and Evermann, 1902
Epinephelus diacanthus Jordan and Seale, 1907
Epinephelus diacanthus Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Epinephelus diacanthus M. Weber, 1913
Serranus diacanthus Hora, 1924
Epinephelus diacanthus Barnard, 1927
Epinephelus diacanthus Fowler, 1928

Common Name (s)
• Six Barred Reef Cod (English)
• Hekru (Marathi)
• Gobra (Marathi)
• Spinycheek Grouper (English)
• Thornycheek Grouper (English)
• Hekaru (Marathi)
• Kalava
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial

Habitat:  Demersal, Sandy, Muddy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Crustaceans and cephalopods


• West Coast INDIA
• Gulf of Oman
• Maharashtra INDIA
• Kerala, Off Kozhikode INDIA (Record: 1992-2002)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Maharashtra, Mumbai INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Goa, Grand Island INDIA (Record: 01/2002-04/2002, 09/2002-12/2002) (Depth: 2-12 mts)
• Karnataka, Netrani Island INDIA (Record: 01/2002-04/2002, 09/2002-12/2002) (Depth: 3-16 mts)
• Kerala, Poovar INDIA (Record: 01/2002-04/2002, 09/2002-12/2002) (Depth: 10-16 mts)
• Arabian Sea (Lat: 11) (Long: 68.5) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 60-127 mts)
• Arabian Sea (Lat: 22) (Long: 75.31) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 60-127 mts)
• Gujarat INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Gujarat, Veraval Coast INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Nader, IA and Jawdat, S (1977) First records of fishes from Iraqi waters Bulletin of the Faculty of Science Riyadh University 8 429-443 Available at - ZOOR:ZOOR11800044383
  • Suppa, M; Suebsin, S; Suri, V and Songsirikul, T (1997) Checklist of fishes in Thailand Office of Environmental Policy and Planning 1-353 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
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  • Manojkumar, PP (2005) Fishery of the spinycheek grouper, Epinephelus diacanthus (Valenciennes), off Calicut along the Malabar Coast Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 47(1) 63-69 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1931) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Print times, Pataudi house, Daryaganj, New Delhi 6 448 pp 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
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  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at - http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/sereport/ser/stdy_coral.pdf
  • Bijukumar, A and Deepthi, GR (2009) Mean trophic index of fish fauna associated with trawl bycatch of Kerala, southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 51(2) 145 - 154 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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
  • Balachandran, K and Nizar, MA (1990) A check list of fishes of the Exclusive Economic Zone of India collected during the research cruises of FORV Sagar Sampada Proceedings of the first workshop on scientific results of FORV Sagar Sampada CMFRI, Cochin 305-324 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/5269/1/43.pdf
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/571/1/Bulletin_10.pdf
  • Kizhakudan, SJ; Nair, KVS and Zala, MS Demersal Finfish Resources of Gujarat Sustainable fisheries development: Focus on Gujarat 57-66 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/6060/
  • James, PSBR; Lazarius, S and Arumugam, G (1994) The present status of 'Major Perch' fisheries in India Perch fisheries in India Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 47 1-9 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/8218/1/Bulletin_No_47.pdf
  • Bapat, SV; Deshmukh, VM; Krishnamoorthi, B; Muthiah, C; Kagwade, PV; Ramamirtham, CP; Mathew, KJ; Pillai, SK and C. Mukundan (1982) Species composition, distribution and abundance of major groups/species Fishery resources of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the NorthWest coast of India Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Kochi 33 1-86 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/808/1/Bulletin_No_33.pdf
  • 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
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  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Fishery Resources Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-12

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