Epinephelus areolatus (Forsskål, 1775)
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Epinephelus areolatus (Forsskål, 1775)

Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Epinephelus areolatus

English Name: Areolate grouper

Creole Name: Makonde

French Name: Mérou pintade

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)

Description:

Dorsal spines: 11 (3rd or 4th longest) Dorsal rays: 15-17; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 8.

Moderately elongate body with truncate or slightly emarginate caudal fin. 

Head body and fins pale, covered with numerous large brown or brownish yellow spots, the largest about the size of the pupil, those on the front of the head smaller than 
those on the operculum and body. Pectoral fins pale with small dark spots on the rays. Posterior edge of the caudal fin with a distinct white margin.


Size:

Maturity: Lm 20 cm TL. Range 19 -? cm TL. Max Length: 47 cm TL, commonly to 35 cm TL.
 

 


Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits seagrass beds or on silty sand bottoms, often in turbid water, around isolated small rock outcrops, dead coral or soft coral (depth 2-200 m). Juveniles are common 
in water depths to 80 m. Feeds on fish and benthic invertebrates primarily crabs and prawns. Thought to form seasonal spawning aggregations. 


Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the handline fishery, unclear as to how abundant it is due to identification problems with E. chlorostigma.


Notes:

E. areolatus is often confused with E. chlorostigma, which is also covered with brown spots and has a truncate or emarginate caudal fin with a white posterior margin. 
E. chlorostigma has modally one more dorsal- and pectoral-fin ray and smaller, more numerous, dark brown spots, with the largest dark spots on body about half of the size 
of the pupil. The spots are closer together, with the pale interspaces forming a network on the head, body and median fins.


References:

Bray, D.J. (2018). Epinephelus areolatus in Fishes of Australia, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4663 (05/01/19)
Craig, M.T. et al. (2011). Groupers of the World - a field and market guide. NISC (Pty) Ltd, South Africa. ISBN: 978-1-920033-11-8
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2018). FishBase. http://www.fishbase.se/summary/Epinephelus-areolatus  (05/01/19).
Heemstra, P.C. & Randall, J.E. (1993). Groupers of the World. Vol. 16 FAO Species Catalogue. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 16. FIR/S125 Vol. 16
Nair, R. & To, A. (2018). Epinephelus areolatus. The IUCN Red List 2018: http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T132774A46629518.en. (05/01/19).


Citation:

Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Epinephelus areolatus, Areolate grouper. Seychelles Seatizens. www.seatizens.sc. http://seatizens.sc/species/epinephelus-areolatus-forsskal-1775/ (edited 25/07/22).   


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