Epinephelus amblycephalus (Bleeker, 1857)
Banded grouper
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  50 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 80 - 130 m
Distribution:  Western Pacific: Andaman Sea to southern Japan, Taiwan, China, Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819), northwestern Australia, and Fiji.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-16; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body depth less than head length, 2.5-3.0 times in SL; large head length 2.1-2.4 times in SL; rounded preopercle with 3-6 enlarged serrae at the angle; upper edge of operculum slightly convex; midside of lower jaw with 2 rows of teeth; gill rakers of first gill arch 8 + 14-16 = 22-24; scaly maxilla, reaching about vertical at rear edge of eye; pectoral and pelvic fin length are equal, 1.7-2.3 times in head length; ctenoid lateral body scales, few auxiliary scales in adults. Colour of head, body and median fins are pale grey; 5 broad dark brown bars, first 2 extending into the spinous part of dorsal fin, 3rd and 4th bars extending into the soft dorsal and anal fins, 5th dark bar at the base of the caudal fin; edges of dorsal parts of body bars with small black spots; nape with dark brown saddle blotch, small black spots mainly along edge of the blotch; cheeks, snout, interorbital area, jaws and chest mostly dark brown, with 2-3 white bands radiating from the eye; irregular black bar on the middle of the caudal fin; yellow maxillary groove; small juveniles (6 cm SL) white, with black bars on body as described for adults, the fins pale yellow with small black spots (Ref. 39231, 89707).
Biology:  This species is usually found on offshore coral and rocky reefs. A popular and commercially important species in Hong Kong, but not in Singapore. Caught with hand lines and sold fresh (Ref. 39231).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 18 November 2016 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 13.10.92
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 18.02.19
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 22.03.94

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