Epinephelus morrhua   (Valenciennes,  1833) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 54-90 cm.

Weight: 6.7 kg.

Color: In alcohol specimen brownish, with four broad bands running obliquely backwards to dorsal, these bands are indistinct, but their borders are very clear and dark brown, the first running from opercular flap to dorsal, the second and third one are bifurcated below, one branch from the second running to opercular flap and meeting there the first band. the fourth band on the caudal peduncle. Two dark stripes from eye to opercular border. Head, upper part of body, dorsal and caudal with brown spots. Ventrals and anal brown. Pectorals yellowish, brown at base.

Height 3-3.3 in total length, head 2.5-2.7 in total length. Eye 5-5.5, more than inter orbital space and less than snout. Teeth in narrow bands, outer series of fixed teeth and canines very strong. Lower jaw projecting. Maxillary extending to below posterior half of eye, the width of its distal extremity two thirds of eye. Praeoperculum serrated behind, somewhat produced at its angle, which is provided with a few strong spines. Opercular spines equidistant, the lower much further back than the upper, which is very small. Opercular flap pointed. Head covered with cycloid scales. Maxillary naked (in a large specimen). Gillrakers as long as gill-fringes, 15-16 on lower part of anterior arch. Dorsal originating above base of pectorals, third or fourth spine longest, two fifths or three fifth of head, and about as long as longest soft dorsal rays. Second and third anal spine equal, much shorter than soft anal rays. Pectorals one half of head or shorter. Ventrals much shorter than pectorals, far distant from anus. Caudal truncate in the adult, rounded in the young. Scales ciliated.

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

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Epinephelus cometae Tanaka, 1927
(Junior synonym)
Epinephelus poecilonotus (non Temminck & Schlegel, 1842)
(Misapplied name)
Serranus morrhua Valenciennes, 1833
(Senior synonym)
Serranus poecilonotus Temminck and Schlegel, 1844
Serranus poecilonotus Bleeker, 1855
Serranus angularis Gunther, 1859
Serranus radiatus Day, 1867
Serranus morrhua Klunzinger, 1870
Epinephelus morrhua Bleeker, 1875
Epinephelus poecilonotus Bleeker, 1878
Serranus morrhua Day, 1888
Serranus (Epinephelus) brunneus Steindachner and Doderlein, 1883
Serranus (Hyposerranus) morrhua Klunzinger, 1884
Serranus morrhua Boulenger, 1889
Epinephelus morrhua Sauvage, 1891
Epinephelus morrhua Boulenger, 1895
Epinephelus morrhua Steindachner, 1896
Epinephelus morrhua Jordan and Richardson, 1910
Epinephelus poecilonotus Franz, 1910
Epinephelus poecilonotus Snyder, 1912
Epinephelus poecilonotus Jordan, 1913
Epinephelus morrhua M. Weber, 1913
Epinephelus morrhua Barnard, 1927
Serranus morrhua Valenciennes, 1833
Epinephelus morrhua Weber and de Beaufort, 1931
Cephalopholis morrhua (Valenciennes, 1833)
(Senior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Banded Check Reef Cod (English)
• Blue Grouper (English)
• Comet Cod (English)
• Comet Grouper (English)
• Contour Rockcod (English)
• Lagganfana (Mahl)
• Banded-chak reef-cod (English)
• Kollu kalava
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish.
Reported to cause ciguatera poisoning.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Vulnerable to line fishing.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Fishes and benthic crustaceans
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Bay of Bengal (Lat: 8.8) (Long: 78.38) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 33 mts)
• Kerala INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/ index/
  • 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
  • Randall, JE and Klausewitz, W (1986) Tiefenwasser und Tiefseefische aus dem Roten Meer. 14. New records of the serranid fish Epinephelus radiatus (Day) from the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman. (Pisces: Perciformes: Serranidae) Senckenbergiana Maritima 18 229-237 Available at - ZOOR12300049916
  • 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
  • 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
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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