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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Adults inhabit reefs and rocky bottom to a depth of at least 101 m (Ref. 089707); juveniles are found in tide pools. Feed on fishes and crustaceans. Sexual maturity is attained at 50 to 60 cm. Are diandric protogynous hermaphrodites unlike that of other congeners (Ref. 74502).
  • Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
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Distribution

Range Description

Epinephelus andersoni occurs along the east coast of South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces to 34°05'S), and southern Mozambique (to 24°50'S). Reports of this species occurring in Madagascar are dubious (Heemstra and Randall 1993). It is relatively abundant only between 32°15'S and 24°50'S. See the assessment justification for details on extent of occurrence and area of occupancy.
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Southeast Atlantic and Western Indian Ocean: known with certainty only from the southeast coast of Africa between Quissico, Mozambique (24°50'S) and Knysna, South Africa (23°E). Reports from Madagascar are dubious.
  • Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
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Southeastern Atlantic and western Indian Ocean.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13 - 15; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 8
  • Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
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Size

Maximum size: 800 mm TL
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Max. size

87.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 74502)); max. published weight: 8,650 g (Ref. 4787)
  • Randall, J.E. and P.C. Heemstra 1991 Revision of Indo-Pacific groupers (Perciformes: Serranidae: Epinephelinae), with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (20):332 p. (Ref. 4787)
  • Fennessy, S. and Y. Sadovy 2002 Reproductive biology of a diandric protogynous hermaphrodite, the serranid Epinephelus andersoni. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 53:147-158. (Ref. 74502)
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished by the following characteristics: head, body and fins brown; body, caudal and dorsal fins with numerous small close-set irregular dark brown spots; 2 dark brown stripes running posteriorly from the eye across operculum, and another continuing from the maxillary groove to the lower edge of the preopercle; body elongate, depth 3.2-3.7 times in SL; greatest body width 1.4-1.8 times in body depth; head length 2.4-2.7 times in SL; angular preopercle, with several enlarged serrae at the angle; upper edge of operculum slightly convex; posterior and anterior nostrils equal; scaly maxilla, reaching to or past vertical at rear edge of eye; 2-3 rows of teeth on midside of lower jaw; rounded caudal fin; ctenoid midlateral-body scales (mostly embedded), with auxiliary scales (Ref. 089707).
  • Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
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Description

Inhabits rocky bottom from shallow waters to at least 50 m; juveniles are found in tidepools. Feeds on fishes, spiny lobsters, and crabs. Sexual maturity is attained at 50 to 60 cm.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Closely associated with shallow rocky reefs. Rarely recorded on coral reefs (Chater et al. 1993, Chater et al. 1995). Spawning does not occur south of 30o, and not all fish spawn every year (Fennessy 2000). There is some evidence that there are spawning-related increases in abundance (aggregations) during summer (January to March). The species is a relatively slow-growing, diandric protogynous hermaphrodite i.e., some males are derived from functional females, but some develop from the juvenile phase, so the sex ratio is not female biased as in monandric protogynous hermaphrodites (Fennessy 2000). Size/age at first maturity for females and males is similar. Tagging results indicate that there is a high degree of site fidelity (Bullen and Fennessy 2000).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 101 - ? m (Ref. 89707)
  • Craig, M., YJ.S. de Mitcheson and P.C. Heemstra 2011 Groupers of the world: a field and market guide. North America: CRC Press/Taylor and Francis Group. 356 p. (Ref. 89707)
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Depth range based on 4 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 46 - 100
  Temperature range (°C): 19.909 - 19.909
  Nitrate (umol/L): 6.252 - 6.252
  Salinity (PPS): 35.339 - 35.339
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.094 - 4.094
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.396 - 0.396
  Silicate (umol/l): 6.661 - 6.661

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 46 - 100
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 50m.
Recorded at 50 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Catface rockcod. Attains 80 cm. Known only from southern Mozambique to Knysna. Common to depths of 50 metres. Inhabits reefs and rocky bottom to a depth of at least 50 m; juveniles are found in tidepools. Feeds on fishes, spiny lobsters, and crabs. Sexual maturity is attained at 50 to 60 cm. This species falls under the category of "Collapsed stocks" -- Those species whose adult (spawning ) populations stand at less than 25% of historical levels.
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits reefs and rocky bottom to a depth of at least 50 m; juveniles are found in tidepools. Feeds on fishes, spiny lobsters, and crabs.
  • Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Diandric protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 74502).
  • Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Epinephelus andersoni

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Epinephelus andersoni

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Fennessy, S. (Grouper & Wrasse Specialist Group)

Reviewer/s
Sadovy, Y. & Cornish, A. (Grouper & Wrasse Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
In South Africa, the mean size of fish has not declined (mid 1980s to mid 1990s), but the current level of fishing mortality has reduced spawning biomass per recruit to 42% of the unexploited level (Fennessy 2000). No historical CPUE (catch per unit of effort) data or historical sex ratio data are currently available. In Mozambique, fishing effort is now substantially higher now than in the mid-1990s, although there are no CPUE data currently available.

The species has a very restricted range, although there is no indication that extent of occurrence or area of occupancy are declining. The reported range is from 24°50'S to 34°05'S (Heemstra and Randall 1993). The species does not occur in water depths much greater than 50 m, and, based on calculated sea floor area to the 50 m isobath, the extent of occurrence of the species is therefore about 15,400 km². The area of occupancy is in reality much less than this, since the species is closely reef-associated, and assuming that 10% of the area of occurrence is reef, then effective habitat (reef) area is about 1,500 km². Not all of this reef area is in fact suitable habitat, since a large proportion of this is coral reef and E. andersoni is not a coral reef species.

This species is classified as Near Threatened as current data indicate a population reduction of ≥30% is possible due to fishing over a 10 year or three generation period where the time period includes both the past and the future i.e., just misses listing as VU A2d+3d+4d – current population trend is unknown but an increase in fishing pressure and the limited range mean that attention is needed for this species. Although the EOO and AOO are small, especially for a marine species with pelagic larvae, there is no evidence of declines, fluctuations or fragmentation in these areas. It also occurs in relatively shallow, and therefore accessible, waters.
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Population

Population
Relatively common in South African waters, particularly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The South African population is assumed to be the same stock as in Mozambique. The South African population is assumed to be larger because most of the Mozambican reefs are coral, and this is not a coral reef species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Over-fishing by commercial and recreational hook and line fishing are a moderate threat.
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Near Threatened (NT)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Good protection in a 155 km long marine protected area (MPA) in South Africa, although E. andersoni is confined to the inshore (< ca. 200 m from the shore) non-coral reefs there, so suitable habitat in the MPA is restricted. A minimum size limit of 400 mm TL applies, soon to be increased to 500 mm. There is currently a recreational bag limit of five fish per person per day (within that category of fish), soon to become a bag limit of five for both recreational and commercial sectors. Commercial fishing effort is restricted (number of permits is limited) and has recently been reduced. Fairly good compliance with regulations owing to an active conservation agency in KwaZulu-Natal. No bag or size limit restrictions in Mozambique.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes
  • Coppola, S.R., W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, N. Scialabba and K.E. Carpenter 1994 SPECIESDAB: Global species database for fishery purposes. User's manual. FAO Computerized Information Series (Fisheries). No. 9. Rome, FAO. 103 p. (Ref. 171)
  • Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
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Wikipedia

Brown-spotted rockcod

The brown-spotted rockcod or catface rockcod (Epinephelus andersoni) is a species of fish in the Serranidae family. It is found in Mozambique and South Africa. Its natural habitats are shallow seas, coral reefs, and estuarine waters.

References[edit]

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