Epinephelus maculatus (Bloch, 1790)

Common Name: 
Highfin Grouper
Distribution: 

Relatively common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean: from Cocos-Keeling Islands to Samoa, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded from around Exmouth in Western Australia, across the tropical north including the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to around Sydney in New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: 

Juveniles frequent shallow areas of coral rubble and rocky reef, adults around isolated coral heads in lagoons and seaward reefs. Often seen on open sand around base of reefs. Depth to 82 m.

Additional Notes: 

Two white saddles in front of and midway along dorsal fin. Adults with brown background colouration and many dark spots, high spiny dorsal fin. Small juvenile pictured here approximately 10 cm long. Feeds on benthic fishes and crustaceans, sometimes on octopuses. Grows to 60 cm.

References: 

R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.95.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Epinephelus-maculatus.html. Accessed 03/08/18.

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Epinephelus+maculatus. Accessed 03/08/18.