The dorsal profile of the head is flat to slightly convex between the eyes. It has a rounded, finely serrated properly which has a fleshy lower edge.
The membranes of the dorsal fin has distinct indentations between its spines. The dorsal fin has 9 spines and 14-15 soft rays while the anal fin has 3 spines and 8-9 soft rays.
The color of the body is orange- red to reddish brown with many small bright blue spots which cover the head, body and the dorsal, anal and caudal fins. The color of the juveniles is orange to yellow with fewer widely separated faint blue spots.
They attain a maximum total length of 50 centimeters (20 in). Cephalopods minima is found in clear water where there are coastal and offshore coral reefs, it prefers exposed rather than protected areas.
Like other groupers this species is predatory; over 80% of its diet consists of small fish, predominantly sea oldies (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) which are ambushed by the coral hind in a sudden rush up from the substrate. They form harems consisting of a single male and up to 12 females.
The male defends the harem's territory which is around 475 square meters (5,110 sq ft) in area, each female has a smaller territory which she defends against other females. Coral hinds are protogynous hermaphrodite, and they change sex from female to male.
The male patrols the territory and visits each female, swimming parallel to each other when they meet. Cephalopods minima is an important species in commercial fisheries at the local level and is caught using hook and line, fish traps and spears.
It is a colorful species and is popular in public Aquarian and forms a minor part of the aquarium trade. 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). ^ Coral Cod, Cephalopods minima (Formal, 1775)”.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Epimetheus Species: Binomial name Epimetheus Mario Synonyms Serra nus Mario Valentines, 1828 Serra nus erythrogaster Delay, 1842 Serra nus lurid us Tanzania, 1842 Serra nus remotes Play, 1860 Serra nus angustifrons Standalone, 1864 The red grouper has a body with a standard length which is 2.6 to 3 times as long as it is deep.
The properly is subangular with the serrations at its angle being slightly enlarged and the upper edge of the gill cover is straight. The They are dark reddish brown on the upper part of the head and body, shading to paler pink on the underparts, they are marked with lighter spots and blotches across their body and there are darker margins to the fins.
This species has a maximum published total length of 125 centimeters (49 in), although they a more commonly found at lengths around 50 centimeters (20 in), and a maximum published weight of 23 kilograms (51 lb). The redgrouper's typical range is coastal areas in the western Atlantic, stretching from southern Brazil to North Carolina in the US and including the Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda.
Spawning occurs offshore between January and June, peaking in May. While primarily eating benthic invertebrates, the red grouper is an opportunistic feeder in the reef community.
The diet commonly includes mantid and portend crabs, juvenile spiny lobster, and snapping shrimp, with the occasional fish. The red grouper is of moderate size, about 125 cm and weighs 23 kg or more.
When aggravated (they are highly territorial) or involved in spawning activities, these fish can very rapidly change coloration patterns, with the head or other parts of the body turning completely white, and the white spots appearing more intense. Red grouper (Epimetheus Mario) on an excavated site on Pulley Ridges on the West Florida Shelf Red grouper actively excavate pits in the seafloor.
They start digging in the sediment from the time they settle out of the plankton and continue throughout their lifetime. They use their caudal fin and their mouths to remove debris and sediment from rocks, creating exposed surfaces on which sessile organisms actively settle (e.g., sponges, soft corals, algae).
The exposure of structure also attracts a myriad of other species, including mobile invertebrates and a remarkable diversity of other fishes, from bodies and butterfly fish to grunts and snapper. The lionfish Steroid Holsteins started invading red grouper habitat by 2008, from Florida Bay to the Florida Keys and offshore to Pulley Ridge, a despotic coral reef on the West Florida Shelf west of the Dry Tortugas.
Known for being extremely capable predators on small reef fish, scientists are very interested in determining the extent to which their invasion changes the functional dynamics of associated communities. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epimetheus Mario.
Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory. “Helming parasites of Epimetheus Mario (Pisces: Serranidae) of the Yucatán Peninsula, southeastern Mexico” (PDF).
^ Scholar, W. N.; Cricket, R. & van der Loan, R. Although some populations are below target levels, U.S. wild-caught red grouper is still a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
Large sharks and carnivorous marine mammals prey on adult red grouper. Red grouper are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts through the Gulf of Mexico and south to Brazil.
Both the commercial and recreational fisheries have size limits to reduce harvest of immature red grouper. The commercial and recreational fishing seasons are closed from January through April to protect red grouper during their peak spawning period.
To reduce by catch, there are restrictions on the type of gear fishermen may use and where they can fish. Year-round and/or seasonal area closures for commercial and recreational sectors to protect spawning groupers.
Groupers are solitary carnivores that hunt near the bottom usually at dusk. Juvenile fish become adults and some change shape or their color.