Animal Species:Common Coral Trout, Plectropomus leopardus (Lacépède, 1802)

Colouration of the Common Coral Trout can vary with time of day, the surrounding habitat and the type of activity the fish is pursuing. The Common Coral Trout is usually red to greenish brown.

Standard Common Name

Common Coral Trout

Alternative Name/s

Blue-spot Trout, Bluedotted Coraltrout, Coral Trout, Leopard Cod, Leopard Coral-trout, Leopard Coralgrouper, Leopard Trout, Trout

Identification

The Common Coral Trout is usually red to greenish brown. The median fins and upper two thirds of the head and body have numerous small dark-edged blue dots. The median rays of the caudal fin often have a white margin.

Colouration can vary with time of day, the surrounding habitat and the type of activity the fish is pursuing. The middle image shows a fish with colouration often seen in Coral Trout at rest. The fish in the upper two images are being cleaned by Striped Cleaner Wrasse.

The 1986 paper of Randall and Hoese (see References) was responsible for solving major problems with the taxonomy of the genus Plectropomus.

Size range

The species grows to 75 cm in length.

Distribution

The Common Coral Trout occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is known from north-western Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to the southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Plectropomus leopardus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Common Coral Trout specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
leopardus
Genus:
Plectropomus
Family:
Serranidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol.7 Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. Pp. i-xii, 1-665.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
  6. Randall, J.E. & D.F. Hoese. 1986. Revision of the Groupers of the Indo-Pacific genus Plectropomus (Perciformes: Serranidae). Indo-Pacific Fishes. 13: 1-31.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Common Coral Trout, Plectropomus leopardus, Serranidae, colouration varies with time of day, red, greenish brown, Blue-spot Trout, Bluedotted Coraltrout, Coral Trout, Leopard Cod, Leopard Coral-trout, Leopard Coralgrouper, Leopard Trout, Trout, dots/spots, blue spots, 30 cm - 1 m, Great Barrier Reef, marine, tropical water,