Epinephelus lanceolatus (giant grouper)
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Epinephelus lanceolatus (Bloch, 1790)
Preferred Common Name
- giant grouper
Other Scientific Names
- Batrachus gigas Günther, 1869
- Holocentrus lanceolatus Bloch, 1790
- Oligorus goliath De Vis, 1882
- Oligorus terrae-reginae Ramsay, 1880
- Promicrops lanceolatus (Bloch, 1790)
- Serranus abdominalis Peters, 1855
- Serranus geographicus Valenciennes, 1828
- Serranus lanceolatus (Bloch, 1790)
- Serranus phaeostigmaeus Fowler, 1907
- Stereolepoides thompsoni Fowler, 1923
International Common Names
- English: banded rockcod; bridlebass; brindle bass; brindle grouper; brindlebass; queensland groper; queensland grouper; rock cod; rockcod
- Spanish: mero lanceolado
- French: loche géante; mérou géant; mérou lancéolé
- Arabic: hamour
Local Common Names
- Australia: Queensland grouper
- China/Hong Kong: fa mei; long dan
- Fiji: 'Avu; kavu
- French Polynesia: hapuu reru
- Germany: Zackenbarsch
- India: bontoo; gobra; hekru; kalava; kolaji; kolamin; varaya kalawa; wekhali; wekhru
- Indonesia: kerapu ketang; kerapu lumpur
- Japan: tamakai
- Kiribati: bákati; te kauoto
- Malaysia: kerapu; pertang
- Marshall Islands: jawe
- Micronesia, Federated states of: taiyaaw
- Mozambique: garoupa fajardo
- New Caledonia: bac
- Papua New Guinea: Queensland grouper; veya
- Philippines: bantol; bulang; kerapo; kugtong; kugtung; kurapu; lapu lapu; lapu-lapu; pugapo; puol; tingag
- Poland: itajara olbrzymia
- Samoa: ata'ata-uli; vaolo
- Singapore: kerapu; long dan
- Solomon Islands: bangabanga; kohoa
- South Africa: briekwabaars
- Sri Lanka: hali valan kossa; komari kaleva; sellan kossa; wutla-callawah
- Tanzania: chewa
- Thailand: pla moh-ta-le
- Tokelau: nhinhinhi
- Tonga: popo
- Vietnam: ca mu khoang; ca mu song; cá Mú song
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
E. lanceolatus is the most widely distributed grouper in the world. It occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific region from the Red Sea to Algoa Bay, South Africa and eastward to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn Islands. In the western Pacific, it ranges northward to southern Japan and southward to Australia. Its culture is widespread, but restricted by limited fingerling supply. It was listed as a known Invasive Alien Species in The Bahamas by the BEST Commission (2003), but this record requires verification.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Perciformes
- Suborder: Percoidei
- Family: Serranidae
- Genus: Epinephelus
- Species: Epinephelus lanceolatus
DescriptionTop of page
Body robust, the depth contained 2.4 to 3.4 times in standard length (for fish 12-179 cm standard length), the body width contained 1.5 to 1.75 times in the depth. Head length contained 2.2 to 2.7 times in standard length; interorbital width contained 3.3 (for fish 177 cm standard length) to 6.2 (for fish 12 cm standard length) times in head length; interorbital area flat to slightly convex, the dorsal head profile convex; preopercle subangular, finely serrate, the corner rounded; upper edge of operculum convex; eye diameter contained 5.8 to 14 times in head length; nostrils subequal; maxilla reaching past vertical at rear edge of eye; midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 or 3 rows of teeth (specimens of 20 to 25 cm standard length) increasing to 15 to 16 rows in a fish of 177 cm standard length; canine teeth at front of jaws small or absent. Gill rakers of juveniles 8 to 10 on upper limb, 14 to 17 on lower limb; rudiments in adults are difficult to distinguish from the bony platelets covering the gill arch.
Dorsal fin with XI  spines and 14 to 16 rays, the 3rd to 11th spines subequal, their length contained 3.1 to 5.7 in head length and much shorter than longest rays in adults.
Anal fin with III  spines and 8 rays.
Pectoral fin rays 18 to 20; pectoral fin length contained 1.8 to 2.2 times in head length.
Pelvic fins not reaching anus, their length contained 2.1 to 2.6 times in head length.
Caudal fin rounded.
Lateral body scales smooth, with auxiliary scales.
Lateral-line scales 54 to 62, the anterior scales with branched tubules (except small juveniles).
Lateral scale series 95 to 105.
Small juveniles (12 cm standard length) yellow, with irregular broad black bars on body, the first from spinous dorsal fin to belly and chest and extending onto head, the second from base of soft dorsal fin to anal fin and the last at base of caudal fin.
Small adults (20-50 cm standard length) with irregular white or yellow spots on the black areas and fins with irregular black spots; adults (80 to 150 cm standard length) dark brown with faint mottling, the fins with numerous small black spots.
Large adults (160-230 cm standard length) dark brown, the fins darker (Heemstra and Randall, 1993).
E. lanceolatus is one of the two largest species of groupers in the world (the other is E. itajara of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans). Schultz (1966) reported a 231 cm total length, 214 kg specimen from Bikini Atoll. Grant (1982) mentioned a specimen of 288 kg from Queensland. According to Fourmanoir and Laboute (1976), E. lanceolatus can attain 400 kg.
DistributionTop of page
E. lanceolatus is the most widely distributed grouper in the world; it occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific region from the Red Sea to Algoa Bay, South Africa and eastward to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn Islands. In the western Pacific, E. lanceolatus ranges northward to southern Japan and southward to Australia (from northern Western Australia to northern New South Wales, and Kailola and Jones (1981) reported a 212 cm total length specimen from South Australia). It is known from oceanic islands as well as continental localities. Its absence in the Persian Gulf is puzzling (Heemstra and Randall, 1993).
Cultivation of E. lanceolatus is widespread, but restricted by limited fingerling supply. There has been hatchery production of fingerlings in Taiwan, and some have been exported for growout in other parts of South-East Asia.
E. lanceolatus was listed as a known Invasive Alien Species in The Bahamas by the BEST Commission (2003), but this record requires verification.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
Habitat ListTop of page
ClimateTop of page
|A - Tropical/Megathermal climate||Preferred||Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually|
|C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate||Preferred||Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C|
Uses ListTop of page
Human food and beverage
- Fresh meat
- Live product for human consumption
ReferencesTop of page
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ContributorsTop of page
DPI, Agency for Food and Fibre Sciences -, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Northern Fisheries Centre, PO Box 5396, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia
Distribution MapsTop of page
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