Grouper Yellowbelly

Elaine Sutton
• Sunday, 22 November, 2020
• 12 min read

Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Epimetheus Species: Binomial name Epimetheus marginates Synonyms Serra nus marginates Lowe, 1834 Percy gigs Brunch, 1768 CERN gigs (Brunch, 1768) Epimetheus gigs (Brunch, 1768) Holocentrus gigs (Brunch, 1768) Serra nus gigs (Brunch, 1768) Serra nus imbricates Lowe, 1838 Serra nus aperçus Jenkins, 1840 CERN gigs Costa, 1849 Serra nus herbicides DE Brit Capella, 1867 Epimetheus brachysoma Cope, 1871 Epimetheus marginates is a very large, oval-bodied and large-headed fish with a wide mouth which has a protruding lower jaw.

yellowbelly rockcod marginatus epinephelus dusky grouper mittelmeer spanien sander wolfram copyright
(Source: www.reeflex.net)


The head and upper body are colored dark reddish brown or grayish, usually with yellowish gold counter shading on the ventral surfaces; the base color is marked by a vertical series of irregular pale greenish yellow or silvery gray or whitish blotching which is normally rather conspicuous on the body and head; the black maxillary streak varies in its nakedness; dark brown median fins; distal edges of the anal and caudal fins and also often pectoral fins have narrow white terminal bands; the pelvic fins are black towards their tips while the pectoral fins are dark reddish-brown or gray; the margin of spiny dorsal fin and basal part of the pectoral fins are often golden yellow in color. There are eleven spines and 13-16 soft rays in the dorsal fin.

Epimetheus marginates in the Mediterranean Epimetheus marginates has two disjunct distribution centers, the main one is in the eastern Atlantic from the west coast of Iberia south along the western coast of Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, extending east into the south-western Indian Ocean, as far as southern Mozambique, with doubtful records from Madagascar and possibly Oman. The second population occurs in the south-western Atlantic off the coast of South America in southern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina.

In the eastern Atlantic it is not normally found further north than Portugal but there have been rare records from the Bay of Biscay and in the English Channel as far north as northern France, Great Britain and Ireland. Epimetheus marginates is reversal, normally found in and around rocky reefs from surface waters down to as much as 300 meters in depth.

It often occurs in the vicinity of beds of Poseidon seagrass. Where they are protected, in marine nature reserves and no take zones, both adults and juveniles occur in shallow waters, but the depths at which juveniles are found is always shallower than the preferred depths of adults.

Epimetheus marginates adults are solitary and territorial, preferring areas with a rocky substrate but both adults and juveniles will enter brackish waters, such as estuaries. Their main food is mollusks, crustaceans and octopus but as they grow larger other fish form an increasingly important part of their diet, with reef fish being preferred.

rockcod yellowbelly marginatus epinephelus dusky grouper wirtz von peter foto
(Source: www.reeflex.net)

E. Marginatus is a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning that all fish begin adult life as females but as they grow larger and older they develop into males. They attain sexual maturity at quite a late age, females begin to breed when they are around five years of age, and then between their 9th and 16th years they change into males, most commonly at 12.

During the breeding season small clusters of a few tens of individuals form at specific spawning sites, an exception to their normally solitary existence. Known sites where E. marginates traditionally gather to spawn include the Modes Islands Marine Reserve in Spain, off Medusa in Italy and Portico National Park in France, all in the Mediterranean; fishermen in Brazil suspect there are aggregations off the coast of Santa Catarina but so far none has been definitely found.

Off Brazil E. marginates reproduces in the early summer, between November and December. Epimetheus marginates is a popular food fish and is caught across its range by commercial fishermen while large adult fish are targeted as trophies by spear-fishing, and is readily taken by anglers.

The slow growth rate of this species and its particular mode of reproduction make it vulnerable to over-exploitation, for example the targeting of large males by spear fishers may skew the sex ratio even further and affect reproductive productivity. There have been attempts to grow and breed this fish in aquaculture in Italy.

In some countries the dusky grouper is considered a delicacy. Referring to its preference among restaurant guests, the Spanish say 'DE la ma rel hero y DE la Terra El career' (From the sea the dusky grouper, from the land the lamb).

scientific spanish grouper yellowbelly english cod fish names marginatus fishes epinephelus mero
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

In other regions, such as West Africa, where this species is heavily exploited, there is little data about the status of this fish. For these reasons, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed E. marginates as being Vulnerable, citing a suspected reduction in the population size reduction in excess 50% over the last three generations and where the causes of the decline continue.

Conservation measures have included a spearfishing ban for ten years in France and bag limits in South Africa. In Turkey recommended actions have included no take zones along the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea coasts and a total fishery ban for a minimum of 3–5 years.

^ a b c d Free, Trainer and Paul, Daniel, eds. Marine Species Identification Portal: Fishes of the NE Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

^ Zelig Mahé; Marie-Laure Co chard; Jean Claude Query; et al. “First record of Epimetheus marginates (Serranidae: Epinephrine) in the eastern English Channel” (PDF). ^ a b c Attila Bernini Andrade; Leonardo Francisco Machado; Mauricio Hostim-Silva; João Pedro Barracks (2003).

“Reproductive biology of the dusky grouper Epimetheus marginates (Lowe, 1834)”. ^ Leopoldo Cavalry Gerhardinger; Mathews Oliveira Fracas; Attila Andrade Bernini; Mara Bologna; Mauricio Hostim-Silva (2006).

grouper marginatus epinephelus cernia dusky yellowbelly oscura giallastra pesce della
(Source: www.dreamstime.com)

“Collaborative approach in the study of the reproductive biology of the dusky grouper Epimetheus marginates (Lowe, 1834) (Performed: Serranidae)”. “Preliminary results in breeding dusky grouper Ephinepeplus marginates (Lowe, 1834)” (PDF).

Marine aquaculture finish species diversification; Seminar of the CIH EAM Network on Technology of Aquaculture in the Mediterranean (Team), 1995/06/14-17, Nicosia (Cyprus). ^ “Current Status of the Dusky Grouper (Epimetheus marginates) in Turkey and Recommendations for its Protection”.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epimetheus marginates. Description Epimetheus marginates is a very large, ovarian and cerebral fish with a broad mouth, with lower jaws head and upper body being dark brown or gray in color, usually with gold-colored counter shading on the ventral surfaces.

The base color is characterized by a vertical series of irregular pale greenish-yellow or silver-gray or whitish white, which is usually evident on the body and head. The black maxillary line changes in its markings; Dark brown median fin; The distal ends of the rectum and anatomical wings, and often the slender white terminal bands of the feathers; Pelvic wings are black towards their tips while the pectoral fins are dark reddish-brown or gray.

Distribution Epimetheus marginates has two isolated distribution centers, one of which extends from the southern coast of Iberia along the west coast of Iberia to the southwestern Indian Ocean to the east, Madagascar to the south, and Mozambique, possibly with suspicious records in Oman. The second population occurs in the southwestern Atlantic on the coast of South America in southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.

(Source: gr.depositphotos.com)

Biology Epimetheus marginates predominates in desolate and regional, stone-layered zones, but both adults and adolescents will enter shallow water, as in sediments. Small clusters of individuals, such as decades in the breeding season, are formed at specific spawning sites, an exception to their lonely existence.

Epimetheus marginates traditionally known for gathering in Spain include the Marine Reserve of the Mediterranean Islands of Spain, Medusa, Italy, and Port-Cross National Park in France, all the Mediterranean; Brazilian fishermen suspect that they have been found on the shores of Santa Catarina but none have been found so far. Spanning in the Mediterranean lasts from June to September, with mating polygamy and sang clusters usually having seven females for each male.

For these reasons, the International Nature Conservation Union evaluated E. marginates as vulnerable, and where mitigating factors persist, citing a suspicious reduction of population size by more than 50% over the past three generations. The conservation system includes the ban on spearfishing in France and the South African bag limit for ten years.

The proposed measures in Turkey include any occupation of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts and a total fishing ban for a minimum of 3-5 years. Yellow belly rock cod are mainly caught in the traditional line fishery which operates from small ski- and deck boats within the inshore zone along most of the South African coastline, they are also a popular target of recreational line fishers and spearfishes.

Line fishing is a relatively selective fishing method which has few impacts on the marine environment and is carried out with either a rod and reel or a handling. However, some species targeted by this fishery are over-exploited or collapsed because of their specific life history characteristics.

yellowbelly rockcod south perch dusky africa fishing african photographs fishthesea za
(Source: www.fishthesea.co.za)

The Yellow belly Rock cod is an extremely large fish with an oval body, big head, wide mouth and protruding lower jaw used to catch its prey. The Latin name, Epimetheus, loosely translates to ‘with clouds on it’, referring to these distinctive pale blotches.

Males display a conspicuous silver streaked pattern during reproductive activity. Also called YellowbellyGrouper and Yellow belly Rock Cod, this fish is an absolute delicacy in some European countries.

Dusky Groupers typically reach around 90 cm in length and weigh 3-10 kg on average. The IFA world record was a 21.25 kg (46 lb 13 oz) Dusky caught in Italy.

Anglers frequently hook into this fish everywhere from the North African coast, Spain, and Portugal, south to the Cape of Good Hope, and east as far as Mozambique. Dusky Groupers also live in parts of the southwestern Atlantic, off the coasts of Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.

You’ll typically find this fish near bottom structure like rocks, reefs, and wrecks, anywhere from surface waters to depths of 300 meters. Dusky Grouper is a staple in restaurants in Spain, France, Italy, and other European countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

fish water ocean spanish english mero yellowbelly sea scientific
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Common Name Grouper Animalia Kingdom Phylum Chordata Class Osteichthyes Order Performed Family Serranidae Genus Species Epimetheus SPP. The word grouper comes from the Portuguese name, group, which has been speculated to come from an indigenous South American language.

First it’s worth mentioning that due to the number of genres of this family it’s impossible to give a unique description for each of them. Groupers can reach very large sizes, having found in the Mediterranean and in the gulf of Nicola, Costa Rica, specimens of 150 kg of weight and 1.70 meters in length with an age of 50 years.

Groupers usually live in rocky areas of temperate and tropical waters in depth ranges from four to three hundred and fifty meters. As for their behavior, it’s worth mentioning that they are characterized as solitary creatures that feed on small fish and one that other crustaceans, and even octopus.

In the book «Vitoria Art» of the Marquis de Villena (XV century) it was mentioned as a usual food. The trumpet fish (Autosomes Chinese) usually hide floating on large groupers from where they suddenly emerge to attack their prey by surprise.

Some groupers are so huge that when they open their mouths to feed, they create a suction that is powerful enough to inhale small prey. In addition to their possible great size, another defense that some groupers have is the ability to change the color of their skin.

deep grouper yellowbelly marginatus epinephelus cod dusky aquatic usually called friend rock
(Source: www.dreamstime.com)

Epimetheus marginates has a large mouth with prominent lips ; its dorsal fin is long and allows it to move quickly over short distances. In terms of behavior it’s worth mentioning that they are solitary and territorial specimens, (a bit sullen).

As for reproduction it’s the characteristic of the species however its transformation to male is possible at seven years of age depending on where it’s. The Dusky grouper feeds on mollusk especially octopuses and crustaceans and some small fish occasionally.

Epimetheus marginates has two distribution centers, the main one being the eastern Atlantic from the west coast of Iberia south along the western coast of Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, extending east into the south-western Indian Ocean, as far as southern Mozambique, with doubtful records from Madagascar and possibly Oman. The bases of the dorsal and anal fins are covered with soft scales and thick skin.

It feeds mainly on crustaceans, (specially on spiny lobsters) as well as turtles, octopus and fish, including rays and even sharks. It reproduces in summer, when up to 100 mature individuals congregate in a small area to spawn at a depth of 15 to 30 m.

Due to the weight and size they can reach, only adult specimens that have already fulfilled their reproductive function are fished. It’s usually fished in the depths of the sea and offers a lot of resistance when viewed in dangerous situations.

grouper dusky marginatus epinephelus aquarium cretaquarium yellowbelly heraklion
(Source: www.dreamstime.com)

In the Mediterranean it’s becoming increasingly scarce due to overfishing and it’s also threatened by pollution and the destruction of its juvenile habitat: mangroves This is a common benthic fish in the coral reefs of the western Atlantic Ocean, between Florida (in the US) and northern Brazil, also occupying the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Its worth mentioning that this a solitary predator that feeds mainly on other fish and various invertebrates, such as crabs and mollusks. To reproduce, they gather in large concentrations to perform the annual spawning, on nights near the new moon.

This species is typical in the coastal areas of the western Atlantic from southern Brazil to North Carolina in the USA existing also specimens in the Gulf of Mexico. The red grouper fish has a moderate size; the standard specimen is 1.25 meters long and weighs approximately 23 kilos.

It should be noted that there is also the possibility of changing color in the head or other part of the body which may turn white. This fish is usually sedentary and like the other groupers change sex between seven and twelve years of age.

Their diet is based on crabs, young lobsters, and shrimps and occasionally feeds on some fish. This species has an extended pelagic larval phase of forty days before settling in the coastal habitat as juveniles.

rockcod yellowbelly epinephelus marginatus identification sanbi
(Source: biodiversityadvisor.sanbi.org)

The spawning takes place on the high seas between the months of January to June, reaching its maximum level in May. This is due to the change in pressure that the animal suffers ; most of the catches are made in the Gulf of Mexico.

Its coloration is reddish brown with dark spots and bars and is the most abundant small grouper in the northern Gulf of California. Their diet is based on fish and crustaceans, for example, blackberry crab, and studies have shown that this specimen has the characteristic solitary behavior of the mere species.

The Malabar grouper fish is distributed along the tropical waters of the Indo-Western Pacific area from the east coast of Africa to the Tonga Islands, including the Red Sea. This grouper lives in diverse habitats, such as lagoons, mangroves, coral and rocky reefs, sandy and muddy bottom areas between 2 and 150 meters deep.

On the other hand, juvenile specimens prefer lagoons or brackish areas, which is why it has been considered as a freshwater grouper. This species of grouper fish is a protogynous hermaphrodite, since at some point in their life they change from female to male sex.

On the other hand, the Malabar grouper houses a variety of parasites and this is considered of special care for human consumption, among them it is possible to highlight the following: The majority of fishermen take this fish in reproductive age which results in a considerable reduction in the number of specimens of groupers in the world’s oceans.

rockcod south yellowbelly fish african perch africa dusky fishing salt water photographs read
(Source: www.fishthesea.co.za)

In 2011, some studies showed that the groupers had suffered a reduction of 80% of its total population ; although there are no signs that overfishing has decreased, in the USA. There are currently many invasive species in marine ecosystems that are found around the world the Ragged finned fire fish being one of them which has been distributed throughout the ocean of the coast from the Caribbean.

However, the nutrients found in groupers aren’t that considerable compared to other foods such as whole grains, legumes, liver among others. Such nutrients are carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are very important for the formation of red blood cells, the transformation of genetic material, the proper functioning of the nervous system among others.

Its worth mentioning the groupers’ meat also has an interesting amount of vitamin E that has an antioxidant action in the body. Some researches that have been carried out shows heavy metal concentrations in fish due to the contamination of the water where they live.

Long-lived species, together with fish that occupy a high place in the marine food chain have higher concentrations of mercury and this can negatively affect the health of the human being. The danger of eating contaminated mercury foods depends on the species, its size and lifetime.

In the case of grouper, all species have a high amount of mercury since they live close to 50 years and consume a wide variety of marine organisms. It’s suggested to consume this fish moderately and preferably fresh so as not to suffer from mercury poisoning.

(Source: flickr.com)

In the 50s the toxicity of methyl mercury was made public after an outbreak of cerebral palsy and microcephaly in some newborns in a fishing village in Minima ta Bay located in Japan. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) together with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that pregnant women or who plan to be as well as young children avoid eating more than 180 grams of fish per week to decrease the risk of mercury poisoning.

Cases of ciguatera (food poisoning) have also been reported following the consumption of Epimetheus lanceolatus meat. To do this, cut the groupers into individual fillets and bathe them in the mixture you prepared in step three of lemon, salt and pepper.

While the grouper with bakers is in the oven, we will take the olive oil with a little garlic paste over low heat so that it is infused. Remove the grouper with potatoes from the oven and serve the recipe by adding a little of the oil infused with the garlic on top of each of the fish fillets.

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1 gulfcouncil.org - https://gulfcouncil.org/fishing-regulations/yellowedge-grouper-epinephelus-flavolimbatus/
2 safmc.net - https://safmc.net/regulations/regulations-by-species/yellowedge-grouper-2/
3 www.electricbluefishing.com - https://www.electricbluefishing.com/fish/Yellowedge_Grouper.htm
4 www.espn.com - https://www.espn.com/outdoors/fishing/news/story
5 www.youtube.com - https://www.youtube.com/watch
6 ultimatefishingsite.net - http://ultimatefishingsite.net/grouper-fishing/types-of-grouper/