Epinephelus lanceolatus   (Bloch,  1790) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 270-300 cm.

Weight: 400 kg.

Color: In young specimens light reddish brown, with very broad dark brown cross bands the first one through eye, the second one through operculum both joining above and below, leaving the cheeks light brown. Upper part of head also dark brown. Third through spinous dorsal to ventral’s, joined with the second through a horizontal band above pectorals. Fourth from soft dorsal to anal, fifth through caudal peduncle. Pectorals, soft dorsal, soft anal and caudal with black bars, more or less broken up in to round spots. In older specimens the bands disappear and body is reticulated with dark brown, the meshes of the network enclosing lighter spots and the spots on the fins are more numerous. Old specimens uniform brown.

Height 2.8, 3.5 in length with caudal. Head 2.3 2.9 in length with caudal. Eye small, 6.5-12 (old specimens), equal to or less than inter orbital space and about 1.5 in snout. Lower jaw somewhat projecting, mouth oblique, maxillary reaching beyond posterior border of eye, the width of its distal extremity somewhat less than, equal to, or even more than diameter of eye. Praeoperculum obtusely rounded, its hind border finely serrated. Teeth rather small, in narrow bands in the young, in broad bands in the adult. Gillrakers moderate, 10-11 and some rudiments on lower part of anterior arch. Middle opercular spine nearer to lower than to upper. Opercular flap obtusely pointed, its upper border strongly curved. Dorsal originating above base of pectorals, spine short and excepting the two anterior ones almost of equal length, a little less or more than 5 times in head and two thirds of longest soft dorsal rays. Second anal spine a little shorter than third one, 5 times in head and half as long as longest soft anal rays. Pectorals equal to post orbital part of head, ventrals one eye-diameter longer. Caudal rounded. Scales cycloid. Dorsal fin spines of large individuals increase in size from front to back. It is the largest of all coral reefs dwelling bony fishes

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

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Holocentrus lanceolatus Bloch, 1790
Holocentrus lanceolatus Russell, 1803
Serranus lanceolatus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus geographicus Bleeker, 1849
Serranus lanceolatus Cantor, 1850
Serranus lanceolatus Gunther, 1859
Serranus lanceolatus Day, 1865
Serranus lanceolatus Playfair and Gunther, 1866
Batrachus gigas Gunther, 1869
Epinephelus lanceolatus Bleeker, 1876
Serranus lanceolatus Day, 1888
Epinephelus lanceolatus Boulenger, 1895
Promicrops lanceolata Jordan and Evermann, 1902
Epinephelus lanceolatus McCulloch, 1919
Serranus lanceolatus Hora, 1924
Epinephelus lanceolatus Barnard, 1927
Serranus lanceolatus Fowler, 1928
Oligorus goliath De Vis, 1882
Oligorus terrae-reginae Ramsay, 1880
Promicrops lanceolatus (Bloch, 1790)
Serranus abdominalis Peters, 1855
Serranus geographicus Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus lanceolatus (Bloch, 1790)
Serranus phaeostigmaeus Fowler, 1907
Stereolepoides thompsoni Fowler, 1923

Common Name (s)
• Brindle Grouper (English)
• Queensland Grouper (English)
• Brindle Bass (English)
• Bridlebass (English)
• Giant Grouper (English)
• Banded Rockcod (English)
• Rock Cod (English)
• Wekhali (Gujarati)
• Wekhru (Gujarati)
• Kolaji (Kannada)
• Kolamin (Malayalam)
• Varaya Kalawa (Malayalam)
• Gobra (Marathi)
• Hekru (Marathi)
• Kalava (Tamil)
• Bontoo (Telugu)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish, aquarium.
Traumatogenic. Large individuals may be ciguatoxic.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Commercial and recreational fishing activities, including the live reef fish trade and the marine aquarium fish trade, have the potential to adversely affect populations of this species. It is likely that since a large area of reef is required to maintain such a large predator, its numbers are typically low, even in unexploited areas. Since the species takes decades to grow, and juveniles are also relatively uncommon, there is little chance of giant individuals reappearing in unprotected areas.)
Cultured:  Yes

Habitat:  Benthic, Reef Associated, Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Spiny lobsters, fishes, including small sharks, batoids, mud crab, Scylla serrata, juvenile sea turtles and crustaceans
IUCN Status:  Vulnerable


• Orissa, Chilika Lake (Lat: 19.77) (Long: 85.33) INDIA
• Karnataka, Netrani Island INDIA (Record: 01/2002-04/2002, 09/2002-12/2002) (Depth: 2-12 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at - http://www.unep-wcmc.org/
  • Rouphael, T; Turak, E and Jon, B Seagrasses and mangroves of Yemen's Red Sea 41-89
  • Kuo, RS and Shao, KT (1999) Species composition of fish in the coastal zones of the Tsengwen estuary, with descriptions of five new records from Taiwan Zoological Studies 38(4) 391-404 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Durville, P; Chabanet, P and Quod, JP (2003) Visual Census of the Reef Fishes in the Natural Reserve of the Glorieuses Islands (Western Indian Ocean) Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. WIOMSA 2 95-104
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Wall, F (1910) A popular treatise on the common Indian snakes Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society BNHS Part XIII with 65-79
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • 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
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • 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
  • 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

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