Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Cephalopholis: Greek, kephale = head + Greek, pholis = scale (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 2 - 150 m (Ref. 26938), usually 2 - 35 m (Ref. 40849). Subtropical; 36°N - 28°S, 98°W - 33°W (Ref. 5222)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 16.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 41.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710); max. reported age: 11 years (Ref. 36271)
soft rays: 9. Body and fins red; many small blue spots edged with black line scattered on body; dorsal edge of caudal peduncle with 2 prominent black spots; a pair of black blotches on tip of lower jaw (Ref. 13608).
Western Atlantic: South Carolina, USA and Bermuda to southern Brazil.
Prefers coral reefs and clear water. In the Gulf of Mexico, it occurs in clear deep reefs (at least 45 m). At Bermuda and the West Indies, the species is common in shallow water, but it usually hides in caves or under ledges during the day. The species is protogynous with females maturing at 16 cm TL and transforming to males at about 20 cm. Males are territorial. Feeds mainly on small fishes and crustaceans. May follow morays and snake eels to feed on flushed preys. Wary, but approachable (Ref. 9710).
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tmax=11; K=0.14-0.63; Fec=67,000-280,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .