Epinephelus hexagonatus   (Forster,  1801) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 27.5 cm.

Color: Pale whitish, head and body with hexagonal brown spots separated by narrow white interspaces. Five blackish blotches along back, two along base of spinous dorsal, two along base of soft dorsal and one on upper side of caudal peduncle. A few hexagonal spots below the dorsal blotches often darker than others. Brown spots on all fins, outer margin of fins white. Tip of membranes of spinous dorsal white, blackish immediately below.

Head 2.4-2.6 in standard length, 3.0-3.2 in total length. Depth of body 3.1-3.5 in standard length, 3.8-4.3 in total length. Eye diameter 4.8-5.2 in head, a little shorter than snout and about 0.6-0.7 in interorbital space. Maxillary reaching to or a little beyond a level from the hind border of eye. Depressible rows of teeth in jaws, the inner row longer, outer fixed teeth moderate with canines near symphysis. Preopercular border slightly serrated behind. Middle opercular spine nearer to the lower than to the upper. Fourth or fifth dorsal spine longest, about ½ in postorbital length of head. Second anal fin spine equal to or slightly longer than third. Pectoral fin slightly shorter than postorbital part of head, ventral fin half eye diameter shorter than pectoral.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: XI, 15-16; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: III, 8; 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: 93-98; 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: 11-12+1+29-34.

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

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Epinephelus merra (non Bloch, 1793)
(Misapplied name)
Epinephelus stellans (Richardson, 1842)
(Junior synonym)
Holocentrus hexagonatus Forster, 1801
(Senior synonym)
Serranus hexagonatus (Forster, 1801)
(Senior synonym)
Serranus parkinsonii Valenciennes, 1828
(Junior synonym)
Serranus stellans Richardson, 1842
(Junior synonym)
Holocentrus hexagonatus Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Epinephelus hexagonatus Jones, 1969
Epinephelus merra Weber and de Beaufort, 1931
Epinephalus hexagonatus (Forster, 1801)
Epinephelus hexagonathus (Forster, 1801)

Common Name (s)
• Hexagon Grouper (English)
• Hexagon Rockcod (English)
• Honeycomb Reefcod (English)
• Star Spotted Grouper (English)
• White Specked Rockcod (English)
• Wirenetting Cod (English)
• Pullichammam (Malayalam)
• Sikkisikkifana (Mahl)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish, Ornamental fish)
(The major threats to Epinephelus hexagonatus are habitat loss and overfishing.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Fishes and crustaceans (stomatopods and brachyuran crabs)
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Atoll (Lat: 8) (Long: 71) INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA
• Lakshadweep Islands INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at - http://www.reefindia.org/
  • 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
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • 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
  • 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 Heemstra, PC (1991) Revision of Indo-Pacific groupers (Perciformes: Serranidae: Epinephelinae), with descriptions of five new species Indo-Pacific Fishes 20 1-332 Available at - Zoological Records (Bahrain marine)
  • 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
  • (1998) Marine crabs of India National Institute of Oceanography Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.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
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • 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/
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 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
  • 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
  • Murty, VS (1996) Marine ornamental fishes of India Proceedings of the Seminar on Fisheries - A Multibillion Dollar Industry, Madras CMFRI 23-34 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/7786/1/678-Mur.pdf
  • Murty, VS (2002) Marine ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep CMFRI Special Publication CMFRI 72 1-134 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/3536/1/Special_Publication_No_72.pdf
  • Murty, VS (2001) Ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep Bulletins of the Geological Survey of India 56 103-111 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/8574/1/Murty.pdf

Page last updated on:2011-06-28

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