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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Summary

"One of the largest coral-dwelling fish to be found in and around the Persian Gulf, Epinephelus chlorostigma, has a pale green-gray body, with a lighter coloured belly, covered with small circular brown blotches. When aroused, this fish species is able to change the shade of it's body colour in keeping with its surroundings. Though the fish is shy and lazy in its habit, it's large pectoral and caudal fins enable it to move and maneuver its body quickly through water. This species usually hides in a cave opening or between the corals, to pounce on any unsuspecting prey that happens to swim close enough. Prey are usually eaten whole. Epinephelus chlorostigma has a large mouth that can open to a size that is as wide as the diameter of the fish's body. Predators are usually warned off by an impressive display of mouth gaping. Cooked adult fish, in all it's forms - grilled, stewed and fried, is a highly prized dish in Southern parts of the Persian Gulf. Juvenile fish of this species are delicacies served in many upscale restaurants."
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Biology

Found over a wide range of habitats like seagrass beds and outer reef slopes (Ref. 5213); in the South China Sea, it is also found on mud bottoms. Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans (mainly stomatopods and crabs). Sexual transition from female to male occurs between 35-45 cm, but not all females change sex. Forms spawning aggregations (Ref. 55367). E. chlorostigma is closely related and very similar to E. polylepis and E. gabriellae which seem to replace it in the northwestern Indian Ocean.
  • 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)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5222&speccode=12 External link.
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Distribution

Range Description

General
Epinephelus chlorostigma is an Indo-Pacific species that ranges from the Red Sea to Natal (South Africa), eastwards to the western Pacific (including Madagascar), north to southern Japan, and south to New Caledonia. Records from the Persian Gulf are apparently misidentifications of Epinephelus polylepis. Its presence has not been verified from the Comoros, on the continental shelf between Oman and Cambodia, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, western Australia or Somalia.

Specific
Red Sea, Djibouti, Aden (Yemen), Oman (Groeneveld, unpub. data), Somalia (Darar 1994, Mann and Fielding 2000), Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), southwestern Madagascar (Myers distributional database 2006), east coast of Madagascar (A. Pages, Refrigepech Est. pers. comm.), Seychelles, Réunion, Mauritius (Myers distributional database 2006), Maldives, India, Indian islands (Andaman, Nicobars, Lakshadweep), Sri Lanka (Myers distributional database 2006), Thailand (East Burma Sea (distributional database 2006)), southern Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia/Malaysia (northern Sumatra, Malaysian peninsula, Sunda shelf, Bali), Western Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Vanuatu (Myers distributional database 2006), Samoa, southern Japan, Fiji, Taiwan (Myers distributional database 2006), China (Hong Kong). The distribution is from Heemstra and Randall (1993), unless otherwise stated.
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Widespread in the central tropical Indo-west pacific. Occurs on the both West and East coast of India.
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Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to Natal, South Africa and eastward to the western Pacific, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia. Records from Persian Gulf are apparently misidentifications of Epinephelus polylepis. Not verified from the Comoros, continental shelf between Oman and Cambodia, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia.
  • 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)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5222&speccode=12 External link.
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Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific: East and South Africa, Madagascar and Mascarenes east to Marshall, Tongan and Line islands, north to southern Japan, south to Western Australia and New Caledonia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

"Dorsal fin with 11 spines and 16 to 18 rays, the third or fourth spine longest, its length contained 2.4 to 3.2 times in head length, the interspinous membranes slightly to moderately incised; anal fin rounded or angular, with 3 spines and 8 rays, the third spine longer than second; pectoral-fin rays 17 to 19. Color generally brownish, with mumerous closly set hexagonal or roundish darker spots, the interspaces forming as a whole a ple reticulation. Fins spotted like the body (Talwar and Kacker, 1984)."
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Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16 - 18; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 8
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Size

Recorded size range: 63-75 cm. Max weight: 7 kg. Maximum length: estimated to be 80.7 cm.
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Maximum size: 750 mm TL
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Max. size

75.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4787)); max. published weight: 7,000 g (Ref. 4787); max. reported age: 29 years (Ref. 42001)
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Found over a wide range of habitats like seagrass beds and outer reef slopes (Ref. 5213); in the South China Sea, it is also found on mud bottoms. Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans (mainly stomatopods and crabs). Sexual transition from female to male occurs between 35-45 cm, but not all females change sex. @E. chlorostigma@ is closely related and very similar to @E. polylepis@ and @E. gabriellae@ which seem to replace it in the northwestern Indian Ocean.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Diagnostic

"Body depth contained 2.8 to 3.3 times in standard length (for fish 12 to 51 cm standard length); body width contained 1.8 to 2.2 times in the depth. Head length contained 2.4 to 2.7 times in standard length; interorbital slightly convex; preopercle angular, with 4 to 7 enlarged serrae at angle; upper edge of operculum straight; posterior nostrils not noticeably larger than anterior nostrils; maxilla reaches about to vertical at rear edge of eye; maxilla scaly, with a low step on posterior part of ventral edge; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 to 4 rows of teeth, the inner ones about twice the size of outer teeth. Gill rakers 8 to 11 on upper limb, 15 to 18 on lower limb, 23 to 29 total; gill rakers longer than gill filaments. pectoral fins usually slightly longer than pelvic fins, pectoral-fin length contained 1.6 to 2.0 times in head length; pelvic-fin length contained 1.8 to 2.3 times in head length; caudal-peduncle depth contained 3.0 to 3.6 times in head length; caudal fin truncate or slightly emarginate. Lateral-body scales ctenoid, with auxiliary scales; lateral-line scales 48 to 53; lateral-scale series 96 to 122. Pyloric caeca 26 to 52 - From Talwar & Kacker (1984) and Heemstra & Randall (1993)"
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Diagnostic

"Caudal fin subtruncate, truncate or emarginate. Depth of body 2.8 to 3.4 times in standard length. Dorsal fin with 14 to 17 soft rays. Anal fin with 8 soft rays. Middle opercular spine about equidistant from lower and upper spines. Dorsal fin with 15 to 17 soft rays, body with small or large spots or network of light lines. Preopercular angle with several small serrae, body and fins with numerous small hexagonal spots or light network, caudal fin without white edge. - (From Talwar and Kacker, 1984)."
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Live color whitish, with small dark brown spots on head, body, and fins except ventrally on head, thorax, and lower abdomen. Can assume a transient color phase of 3-4 rows of very large round dark spots on top of the small-spot pattern. 96-125 scales in longitudinal series. Pyloric caeca 26-52.
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Look Alikes

"Very similar to E. gabriellae and E. polylepis (likely to be confused) (Randall and Heemstra, 1991). These two species replace E. chlorostigma in the north-west Indian Ocean including the Arabian Gulf."
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
General
Epinephelus chlorostigma is a reef-associated, non-migratory species found over a wide range of habitats like seagrass beds and outer reef slopes; in the South China Sea, it is also found on mud bottoms. Depth range from 4 to 280 m (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Maximum size 75cm TL, 7 kg (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Maximum length estimated to be 80.7 cm (MRAG 1996), reported to 80 cm TL from South Africa (Oceanographic Research Institute unpub. data).

Feeding
Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans (mainly stomatopods and crabs).

Reproduction and size
Based on consistent observations of male islets in mature, active female gonads from the Seychelles, Moussac (1996) concluded that the species is protogynous, with sex change first occurring at around 34 cm TL, and the first active males appearing at 37 cm. He suggested that sex change occurs over a wide range (34 to 56 cm) and that not all females change sex. Moussac attributed a skewed sex ratio (F:M) of 2.4:1 to fishing, noted that a more balanced ratio of 1.1:1 occurs where populations are not so heavily fished. Females mature at between 23 and 29 cm TL (Heemstra and Randall 1993) while Moussac (1996) indicated a size at 1st maturity of about 31 cm. Morgans (1982) reported maturity at 25 cm SL in Kenya, while the smallest male observed was 39 cm TL (Sanders et al. 1988). The spawning season of E. chlorostigma in the Seychelles was protracted, occurring between November and April and with peaks at the beginning and end of that period (Sanders et al. 1988). These peak periods correspond to the inter-tropical monsoon months. Morgans (1964) reported ripe or nearly-ripe fish in February, March, August and September off Kenya. Nzioka (1979) reported a ripe fish in September off Kenya/northern Tanzania. While a few fishers have reported the formation of spawning aggregations (Robinson et al. 2004), mating and spatial patterns of spawning are unverified. It is considered unlikely that transient aggregations occur (or used to occur) in this species, as large aggregations of common target species are generally well known to fishers (Robinson pers. comm.).

Spawning season in Egypt (Red Sea) extended from May to end July, peaking in June. Length at 50% maturity was 28 cm TL (three years). F:M ratio 2.4:1. Mean size at sex reversal is 48 cm TL. Said to be protogynous, based on disparate length frequencies for males and females and observation of bisexual gonads. Absolute fecundity increases from age three to six, then drops at age seven. Relative fecundity 121 to 776 eggs/g body weight (Ghorab et al. 1986).

Spawning season in Oman extended from August to October and peaked in September. Length at 50% maturity is 41 cm (Oman Fisheries Dept. unpub).

Fisheries-dependent
In the Seychelles, it is common across the Mahe Plateau and surrounding banks, especially at depths ranging from 40 to 60 m. More abundant over rough rubble and coralline areas although it is taken in (experimental) trawls over more sandy areas (J. Robinson, Seychelles Fishing Authority, pers. comm.). In Seychelles it frequents the shelf edges of the banks and has been fished down to depths of 250 m (Intes and Bach 1989). It is less common on the atolls to the south of Seychelles and appears absent on shallow reefs (Pears 2005).

Growth and maturity
Growth parameters for E. chlorostigma from the Seychelles have been derived using a range of methods, but those considered the most reliable are given, using length based (Mees 1992, Sanders et al. 1988) or size at age approaches (Grandcourt 2002) (Table 2). Aged up to 26 years in Oman.

Follow the link below for Table 2: Growth parameters for E. chlorostigma from the Seychelles.

Estimates of natural mortality using the growth parameters of Mees (1992) and Sanders et al. (1988) in Table 2 vary from 0.43, using Pauly (1980), to between 0.37 and 0.39 using Ralston (1987) models, which are considered more reliable for slow growing fish. Using the parameters derived by Grandcourt (2002), natural mortality estimated from Pauly is 0.37 yr-1.

Length-weight relationship y g = 0.0145.x cm FL.3.05.

Systems
  • Marine
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General Habitat

"Epinephelus chlorostigma is a reef-associated species found over a wide range of habitats like seagrass beds and outer reef slopes. In the South China Sea, it is also found on mud bottoms. Depth range from 4 to 280 m."
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Environment

reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 4 - 300 m (Ref. 11888)
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Depth range based on 14 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 5 - 100
  Temperature range (°C): 25.144 - 25.782
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.233 - 2.589
  Salinity (PPS): 34.844 - 35.007
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.080 - 4.825
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.167 - 0.349
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.090 - 3.238

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 5 - 100

Temperature range (°C): 25.144 - 25.782

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.233 - 2.589

Salinity (PPS): 34.844 - 35.007

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.080 - 4.825

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.167 - 0.349

Silicate (umol/l): 3.090 - 3.238
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 4 - 300m.
From 4 to 300 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Migration

Non-migratory
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Trophic Strategy

"Secondary consumer. Prey: Small fishes and benthic crusteceans, mainly stomatopods and crabs."
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Found over a wide range of habitats like seagrass beds and outer reef slopes (Ref. 5213); in the South China Sea, it is also found on mud bottoms. Feeds on small fishes and crustaceans (mainly stomatopods and crabs). Also in Ref. 9137, 58534.
  • 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)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5222&speccode=12 External link.
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Diseases and Parasites

Diseases

"Fish Lymphocystis Disease (FLD) caused due to iridovirus, measuring 130-330 nm size, is a chronic viral infection that occurs among finfish worldwide over a wide range of water temperatures including tropical climates. It was reported in E. chlorostigma cultured in marine net cages in Guangdong, China (Chong and Chao, 1984). The digenean parasites reported in E. chlorostigma from the Indo-Pacific region include - 1. Allopodocotyle epinepheli (Yamaguti, 1942) from Japan, Cainocreadium epinepheli ((Yamaguti,1934) from Arabian Gulf (Saoud et al. 1986), and Japan (Yamaguti, 1942). 2. Hamacreadium mutabile (Linton, 1910) from Red Sea by Ramadan (1983). 3. Hamacreadium mutabile Linton, 1910 (as Hamacreadium epinepheli Yamaguti, 1934) from the Pacific coast of Japan (Yamaguti, 1942). 4. Podocotyle epinepheli Yamaguti, 1942 from Naha, Okinawa Island by Yamaguti, 1958. 5. Prosorhynchus epinepheli Yamaguti, 1939 from Arabian Gulf by Saoud et al. (1988b) and from India by Hafeezullah and Siddiqi (1970). Monogenean parasites reported from E. chlorostigma include - 1. Benedenia lutjani (Whittington and Kearn, 1993), Benedenia sp. (Diesing, 1858), Diplectanum grouperi (Leong, Wong, Woo e Foo, 1999), Haliotrema epinepheli (Young, 1968), Megalocotyloides convolute , Megalocotyloides epinepheli (Bychowsky and Nagibina, 1976), Neobenedenia girellae (Hargis, 1955), Neobenedenia sp. (Yamaguti, 1963), Pseudorhabdosynochus coioidesis (Bu, Leong, Wong, Woo e Foo, 1999), Pseudorhabdosynochus epinepheli (Yamaguti,1958), and Pseudorhabdosynochus lanteuensis from Thailand marine water by Leong (2001). 2. Haliotrema epinepheli Young, 1968 from Red Sea by Paperna (1972). 3. Microcotyle mouwoi (Ishii et Sawada,1938) and Tetrancistrum sigani (Goto et kikuchi,1917) from Japan marine waters by Yamaguti(1963)."
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Population Biology

Epinephelus chlorostigma is an abundant species throughout its range.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Sex change occurs at length of 46.4 cm TL and 3 years of age (Ref. 55367). Also Ref. 6976.
  • 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)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5222&speccode=12 External link.
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Life Expectancy

Max 29 years
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Reproduction

"Protogynous E. chlorostigma begins life as a female. At maturity, some females change into males. The first active males appear when fish sizes reach 37cm. The spawning season of E. chlorostigma in the Seychelles was protracted, occurring between November and April and with peaks at the beginning and end of that period, corresponding to the inter-tropical monsoon months. Premalatha (1989) reported spawnning season in June-July at Indian coast. This fish species is an open/substratum spawner and non-guarder. It is considered unlikely that they form transient aggregations in the spawning period. Fertilization is external."
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Growth

"According to Premalatha (1989), the length-weight relationship of E. chlorostigma (length range 32-65 cm) was estimated to be as log W= -2.7115 + 3.0425 logL in females and log W = -1.7501 + 2.8497 logL in males."
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

"Govindaraju and Jayasankar (2004) studied the taxonomic relationship among grouper species along south east and south west coast of India by RAPD fingerprinting. E. chlorostigma and E. bleekeri shared a very close genetic relationship. Also, the highest genetic polymorphism was recorded in E. chlorostigma."
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Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Epinephelus chlorostigma

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 12
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Epinephelus chlorostigma

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


There are 8 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CTTTATCTTGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGCATAGTAGGAACCGCCCTC---AGCCTACTTATTCGAGCTGAGCTGAGCCAGCCAGGAGCCCTACTTGGCGAC---GATCAAATCTATAACGTAATTGTTACAGCACACGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCAATCATGATCGGTGGCTTCGGAAACTGACTTGTGCCGCTCATA---ATCGGCGCCCCAGACATGGCATTCCCTCGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTTCCCCCATCCTTCCTGCTTCTTCTAGCCTCCTCTGGGGTAGAAGCTGGTGCTGGGACTGGCTGAACGGTCTACCCCCCTCTAGCCGGCAACCTAGCCCATGCAGGAGCATCTGTAGACTTA---ACCATCTTCTCGCTTCACTTGGCAGGGATTTCATCAATCCTAGGAGCAATTAACTTCATTACGACCATTATCAATATAAAACCCCCAGCCATCTCTCAGTATCAAACACCTCTATTTGTTTGAGCTGTACTGATCACAGCAGTACTGCTGCTCCTGTCTCTTCCCGTGCTCGCCGCC---GGTATTACAATACTTCTAACAGATCGAAACCTCAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCAGCCGGAGGGGGAGACCCAATTCTCTACCAACACTTA
-- end --

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Choat, J.H., Craig, M.T., Fennessy, S., Ferreira, B., Bertoncini, A.A., Robinson, J. & Rocha, L.

Reviewer/s
Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Epinephelus chlorostigma is listed as a species of Least Concern since it is a widespread and relatively abundant species that is not known to be currently in decline. However, the species is one of the most common species in catch in a number of locales and should be monitored carefully and frequently as more information becomes available.
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"Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1 Year Published: 2008 Assessor/s: Choat, J.H., Craig, M.T., Fennessy, S., Ferreira, B., Bertoncini, A.A., Robinson, J. & Rocha, L. Reviewer/s: Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)"
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Population

Population
General
Epinephelus chlorostigma is an abundant species throughout its range.

Fisheries-independent data
The most common grouper caught off northern Somalia (Darar 1994), although few were seen in northern Somalia while diving on shallow (2 to 14 m) non-coral reefs in northern-eastern Somalia (Mann and Fielding 2000). Not reported in >130 shallow (<30 m) SCUBA dives in southern Mozambique between Ponta do Ouro and Inhaca (Robertson et al. 1996, Pereira 2003). In shallow (9 to 13 m) fixed transect UVC surveys in the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine Reserves (northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) between 1987 and 1992, Chater et al. (1995) recorded only one individual out of 43 groupers.

Fisheries-dependent data
Moderately common (n=31 individuals, 4.5% of groupers) caught on the North Kenya Banks in the late 1950s (Morgans 1964), slightly less common (n=4 of 130 groupers) in research hook and line catches in this region by the mid 1970s (Nzioka 1977). Not commonly recorded (<1% of all groupers recorded) in commercial line catches from southern Mozambique in the mid-1990s after the fishery rapidly developed following 20 years of light fishing effort owing to civil war (Dengo and David 1993, van der Elst et al. 1994). Subsequently (to 2005), its contribution to grouper catches fluctuated between 0 and 27% by number (D. Gove, Mozambican Fisheries Research Institute, pers. comm.). Occasionally recorded in trap catches in central Mozambique from 1997 to 1998 (n=23 individuals of 1,304 groupers; Abdula et al. 2000). Rarely recorded (3 individuals of 1,278 groupers) in a survey of boat catches from non-coral reefs off the central KwaZulu-Natal coast during 1985 to 1987 (Oceanographic Research Institute 1988). Occasionally recorded (76 individuals of 12,094 groupers) from commercial boat line catches from central KZN coast (non-coral reefs) from 2002 to 2006 (Fennessy unpub. Data). Pages (Refrigepeche Est pers. comm.), operating a commercial linefishing fleet out of Tamatave (central east coast) in Madagascar, reported that this species is common, constituting about 20% of all grouper caught (total grouper catch about 30 mt yr-1). Reported in catches from Reunion (D. Miossec, pers. comm. IFREMER) but lumped with several other grouper species. Percentage contributions (assumed to be by number) to grouper catches from “essentially unexploited” deep-slope reefs were moderate to low in Melanesia (7.05%), Micronesia (2.35%) and Polynesia (0.23%) – Dalzell and Preston (1992), reported in Dalzell et al. (1996). Possibly the main grouper species caught in Seychelles; also in Djibouti/Somalia/Oman.

In terms of the inshore handline fishery, catch rates (CPUE) of the grouper guild, of which E. chlorostigma is one of the main species, have significantly declined since 1990, from over 0.6 to less than 0.3 kg/fisher/hr (Grandcourt and Cesar 2003). CPUE in the schooner handline fishery has declined significantly, from around 3.5 kg/man-day in 1986 to just over 1.0 kg/man-day since 2002. By contrast, CPUE in the whaler handline fishery has remained relatively stable since 1990 (between 0.5 and 1.2 kg/man-day), but effort estimation for these fisheries is confounded by a degree of within-trip target switching (demersal to pelagic) which may vary from year to year and is not reliably accounted for in the surveys.

Mees (1992) estimated the MSY of E. chlorostigma to be in the range of 0.013 to 0.023 mt/km², corresponding to 161 to 290 mt over the fishing ground. These estimates were based on a standing stock of 1,468 mt. Catches were maintained at just below the conservative MSY estimate until the closure of the mothership-dory fishery (Figure 1). This species is vulnerable to both pulse (mothership) and sequential fishing. High catches and CPUE prior to 1994 are thought to have been maintained through expansion of the fishery and sequential targeting. Stock assessments conducted at the level of statistical sector found localized depletions resulting from the mothership-dory fishing, and decreases in abundance at the level of sector have been detected (Mees 1996) following this period. Current length at first capture (Lc50 = 36.44 cm) is only slightly greater than 0.5L∞ (Lm50 is unknown), while F/M is >2, highlighting concern over current levels of fishing mortality (F = 0.91).

Follow the link below for Figure 1: Total annual catch of E. chlorostigma form the Seychelles.

Catch data from commercial hook and line vessels off southern Mozambique are inconclusive – declines in recent years could be due to a spatial shift in fishing effort (Table 1).

Follow the link below for Table 1: Catch data (port monitoring) for the Mozambican commercial line fishery.

In Oman, in three fisheries management areas, preliminary surplus production stock assessments of groupers (of which E. chlorostigma forms an important part – extent not quantified) range from over-exploited to under-exploited (Oman Fisheries department unpub. data).

Population Trend
Stable
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Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Epinephelus chlorostigma is under intense fishing pressure regionally, yet its deep habitat may provide some natural protection.
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"Epinephelus chlorostigma is under intense fishing pressure regionally, yet its deep habitat may provide some natural protection. This is one of the major species to be exploited in the grouper fishery grounds in the southwest coast of India, mainly in Kerala state."
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
General
Epinephelus chlorostigma occurs in some protected areas throughout its range.

Country-specific
In KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, most of the north coast which contains coral reefs is protected by a 145 km long MPA in which no demersal fishing is allowed, and is strictly enforced. This reserve extends to deeper waters, and so offers protection to this deep-living species.

It is intended that this MPA and the southern Mozambique coast from Ponta d’Ouro to Maputo will be incorporated into a Transboundary MPA, with areas zoned for protection, which will offer future protection to this species.

In South Africa, as part of a suite of restricted species, a maximum of five individuals of this species may be retained by recreational fishers in one day; no limits for commercial fishers. In Mozambique, a maximum of 10 individuals of demersal species may be retained by recreational fishers.
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"E. chlorostigma forms an important component of grouper fisheries of Kerala (Southwest coast, India) at a depth range of 63-100 m. Caught by trawls, hand lines, traps, bottom set gill nets."
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Excellent food fish. Common in markets of Kerala and Tamilnadu. Potential resource for surimi preparation.
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Importance

fisheries: commercial
  • 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)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5222&speccode=12 External link.
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Risks

Risk Statement

Harmless to humans.
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Wikipedia

Brown spotted reef cod

See also the page on Hamour

The brown spotted reef cod (Epinephelus chlorostigma), known as Souman or Hamour-e Khaldar-e Qahvei in Persian and commonly as brownspotted grouper in English, is a fish belonging to the family Serranidae.

Description[edit]

E. chlorostigma can reach a length of 12–75 cm and a weight up to 7 kg. It is one of the largest coral dwelling fish. It has large pectoral and caudal fins that enable it to move and maneuver quickly through the water. It has a pale green gray body covered with small circular brown blotches, except for its belly which is lighter in color. When aroused, the fish is able to change its body shading according to its surroundings. Five dark brown vertical bands appear along the body. Its mouth is very large and capable of being opened to the width of the body diameter.

It feeds on crabs, cuttle fish and almost any other small fish. It is shy and lazy in its habits. When feeding, E. chlorostigma hides in its cave opening or in between corals and waits for some unsuspecting prey to pass by close enough to be pounced upon and swallowed whole. Predators are usually warned off by an impressive display of mouth gaping.

Cooked hamour in all its forms (stew, grilled, or fried) is a highly prized dish in Southern parts of the Persian Gulf and "baby hamour" is a delicacy found numerous upscale restaurants.

Habitat[edit]

It is a reef-dwelling fish and prefers coral caves or rock crevices in which to live, at a depth of 4 to 280 m.

Distribution[edit]

This species can be found in the Persian Gulf, in the Indian Ocean and in western Pacific Ocean.

Parasites[edit]

Neidhartia lochepintade Bray & Justine, 2013,[1] an intestinal parasite of Epinephelus chlorostigma

As other fish, the brown spotted reef cod has many parasites, including several species of monogeneans on its gills,[2][3][4] and the digenean Neidhartia lochepintade in its intestine.[1] This parasite species was named for the New Caledonian name of the fish, "loche pintade".

Bibliography[edit]

  • Cuvier, G. & A. Valenciennes. 1828. Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome second. Livre Troisième. Des poissons de la famille des perches, ou des percoïdes. Historie naturelle des poissons. Tome Sixième. v. 2: i-xxi + 2 pp. + 1-490, Pls. 9-40.
  • Heemstra, P.C. i Randall, J.E., 1993, 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. FAO Species Catalogue Vol. 16., FAO Fish. Synop. Núm. 125, 125:I-viii, 1-382.
  • Helfman, G., B. Collette i D. Facey: The diversity of fishes. Blackwell Science, Malden, Massachusetts, USA, 1997.
  • Moyle, P. i J. Cech.: Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology, 4a. edició, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall. Any 2000.
  • Nelson, J.: Fishes of the World, 3rd ed. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons. Any 1994.
  • Wheeler, A.: The World Encyclopedia of Fishes, 2nd. Ed., London: Macdonald. Any 1985.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bray, RA.; Justine, JL. (2013). "Bucephalidae (Digenea) from epinephelines (Serranidae: Perciformes) from the waters off New Caledonia, including Neidhartia lochepintade n. sp.". Parasite 20: 56. doi:10.1051/parasite/2013055. PMID 24351242. 
  2. ^ Justine, JL.; Henry, E. (Oct 2010). "Monogeneans from Epinephelus chlorostigma (Val.) (Perciformes: Serranidae) off New Caledonia, with the description of three new species of diplectanids.". Syst Parasitol 77 (2): 81–105. doi:10.1007/s11230-010-9263-x. PMID 20852982. 
  3. ^ Schoelinck, C., Cruaud, C. & Justine, J.-L. 2012: Are all species of Pseudorhabdosynochus strictly host specific? – a molecular study. Parasitology International, 61, 356-359. doi:10.1016/j.parint.2012.01.009
  4. ^ Justine, JL. (Jan 2009). "A redescription of Pseudorhabdosynochus epinepheli (Yamaguti, 1938), the type-species of Pseudorhabdosynochus Yamaguti, 1958 (Monogenea: Diplectanidae), and the description of P. satyui n. sp. from Epinephelus akaara off Japan.". Syst Parasitol 72 (1): 27–55. doi:10.1007/s11230-008-9171-5. PMID 19048406. 


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