Common Coral Trout Click to enlarge image
A Common Coral Trout at a depth of 19m, 'The Cod Hole', Ribbon Reefs north of Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, June 2002. The fish is being cleaned by a Striped Cleaner Wrasse. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    leopardus
    Genus
    Plectropomus
    Family
    Serranidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 75 cm in length.

Introduction

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.



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

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. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



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.