Spottedblackgrouper are true groupers belonging to the family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephrine. Although commonly called ‘groper’ in New Zealand, the haiku (Poly prion oxygenate) and bass (P. Americans) are actually ‘wreck fishes’ belonging to the family Polyprionidae.
Spottedblackgrouper are only found in southeast Australia (Spencer Gulf to southern Queensland, excluding Tasmania), Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, and northern New Zealand. In New Zealand the largest and possibly only breeding population is found in the Germanic Islands Marine Reserve.
Around mainland New Zealand spottedblackgrouper are relatively common on shallow reefs at Three Kings Islands and along Northland’s rocky east coast. Small juveniles have been recorded as far south as Dominika on the west coast, and Palmier Bay in the east.
Spottedblackgrouper inhabit rocky reefs in estuaries and on the open coast to at least 50 m depth. At the Germanic Islands small juvenile spottedblackgrouper are found in large intertidal rock pools as well as amongst boulders at 20 to 30 m depth.
Spottedblackgrouper appear to have had very little fishing pressure anywhere in New Zealand, however those in eastern Australia are considered to be heavily depleted by line, set net and spear fishers. Spottedblackgrouper are opportunistic predators of smaller reef fishes and crustaceans (shrimps, crabs and rock lobster).
Spottedblackgrouper are vulnerable to a variety of fishing methods due to their large size, territorial behavior and natural curiosity. Populations in eastern Australia are considered to be overfished and their estuaries nursery habitats are threatened by coastal development and pollution.
Spotted black groupers may suffer internal damage from hooks and over-expansion of their swim bladder if caught by accident. Like whales, large filter-feeding sharks and rays can accidentally ingest these, and all species suffer from entanglement in marine debris.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Epimetheus Species: Binomial name Epimetheus Epictetus Synonyms Serra nus Epictetus Terminal & Schlemiel, 1842 Serra nus praeopercularis Bollinger, 1888 Epimetheus praeopercularis (Bollinger, 1888) Epimetheus stigmogrammacus C.T. This species is found in the Indo-Pacific where its distribution ranges form the Red Sea to Australia and Japan.
The dorsal profile of the head is a little convex as is the area between the eyes. The dorsal fin contains 11 spines and 14-15 soft rays while the anal fin has 3 spines and 8 soft rays.
This grouper has a pale brown to greenish-grey body marked with irregular lines of small dark spots on the flanks and upper body. In some individuals there is a wide dark band running from the eye to the gill cover and two thinner bands running obliquely over the cheek.
This species has a maximum total length of 80 centimeters (31 in), although around 70 centimeters (28 in) is more common, and a maximum weight of 7.0 kilograms (15.4 lb). It has a discontinuous distribution which extends from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the coast of East Africa off Eritrea, Kenya, Zanzibar and off southern Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal as well as northwestern Madagascar.
In Asia, it is found in the Persian Gulf, off India, Indonesia, the South China Sea and southern Japan. In the Pacific it occurs off Papua New Guinea and Australia, although it is absent from the Philippines.
The dotted grouper prefers deeper waters at depths of 71 to 290 meters (233 to 951 ft) and is found over rocky and sandy substrates. The dotted grouper is fished for by artisanal and commercial fisheries in Asia.
Dotted groupers are plentiful in the waters off the coast of Aloguinsan, Cebu. The town's economy, which heavily revolves around fishing, is dependent on most of its catch from the dotted grouper.
The town itself was named after the local term of the fish, which the natives thought was the head of the dotted grouper or USO SA Kinsman that the Spaniards were referring to, upon which the Spaniards identified the kingdom as “Aloguinsan”. As a form of thanksgiving for the abundance of the said grouper fish and as a movement for eco-tourism, the town established a festival named after the dotted grouper.
It is celebrated on the feast of the town's patron saint, St. Raphael the Archangel, on the 29th of September, in line with the Feast of the Archangels. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
An annotated and illustrated catalog of the grouper, rock cod, hind, coral grouper and lyre tail species known to date (PDF). “First record of the dotted grouper Epimetheus Epictetus (Terminal & Schlemiel, 1843) (Performed, Serranidae) in Malaysia”.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Mycteroperca Species: Binomial name Mycteroperca Monaco Synonyms Monaco Ararat Parr, 1787 Serra nus Monaco Play, 1860 Serra nus runners Play, 1860 Serra nus decimals Play, 1860 Serra nus Ararat Store, 1860 Serra nus cyclopomatus Play, 1861 Serra nus latepictus Play, 1861 Isotropic again Play, 1867 Mycteroperca Monaco var. Myctoperca Monaco has an oblong, literally compressed body with a standard length which is 3.3 to 3.5 times its depth.
It has an evenly rounded properly with no incisions or lobes at its angle. The caudal fin is truncate to marginate, although it may be convex if spread widely.
This species has an overall t’s an olive gray color and is marked with dark blotches and brassy hexagonal spots over the head and flanks. This fish attains a maximum total length of 150 centimeters (59 in), although they are more common at around 70 centimeters (28 in) and a maximum published weight of 100 kilograms (220 lb).
Mycteroperca Monaco occurs over rocky bottoms and coral reefs at depths of 10 to 30 meters (33 to 98 ft), however in the eastern Gulf of Mexico it is normally encountered at depths of more than 30 meters (98 ft). It is usually a solitary species, the adults feeding mainly on fishes, such as grunts, snapper and herrings, and the juveniles feed on crustaceans.
Black groupers have been recorded forming seasonal feeding aggregations along the outer continental shelf off Brazil, these coincide with spawning aggregations of some fish species the groupers prey on. They are is a monastic protogynous hermaphrodites, and they form spawning aggregations and these have been reported from in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
Females attain sexual maturity at around 5years old and at a length of around 82.6 centimeters (32.5 in) and the change of sex to males occurs when they are around 15 years old and at a mean length of 121.4 centimeters (47.8 in). Mycteroperca Monaco is quite tasty and an important food fish.
An annotated and illustrated catalog of the grouper, rock cod, hind, coral grouper and lyre tail species known to date (PDF). World Register of Marine Species.
^ Scholar, W. N.; Cricket, R. & van der Loan, R. It is found off the coastline of southeastern Australia and northern New Zealand, generally inhabiting near-shore rock and coral reefs at depths down to 50 meters.
Its main range comprises the southeast coastline of Australia, in the state of New South Wales ; New Zealand populations are suspected to be nonbreeding, so are a result of drifting larvae. The species is a protogynous hermaphrodite, with individuals starting as females and changing to males at an estimated 100–110 cm in length and 29–30 years of age.
Drastic but localized declines in saddle tail grouper stocks due to line fishing were first noted around heavily populated areas in the early 1900s. However, in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, E. Amelia populations suffered a severe decline due to the rise in popularity of spear fishing.
Due to the species' large size, slowness, curiosity, territorial habits, and use of inshore habitats, it was extremely vulnerable to spear fishing. After more than two decades of severe spear fishing-driven decline, the New South Wales fishery department belatedly banned the spearing or taking of black cod in 1983, and subsequently listed the species as vulnerable under New South Wales fisheries legislation.