Highfin Grouper,<i> Epinephelus maculatus</i> Click to enlarge image
A juvenile Highfin Grouper, Epinephelus maculates, at a depth of 14m, Cook Island, Northern New South Wales, 21 August 2012. Image: Ian Shaw
© Ian Shaw

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    maculatus (Bloch, 1790)
    Genus
    Epinephelus
    Family
    Serranidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 50cm in length.

Introduction

Adult Highfin Grouper are light brown with dark brown spots. Juveniles are darker overall and have additional white blotches on the head, body and fins. The species occurs tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific.

Identification

Adult Highfin Grouper are light brown with dark brown spots. There are two large dark areas on the upper sides extending into the dorsal fins. These are both preceded by a large whitish area.

Juveniles have black and white areas on the upper sides like the adults, however they are darker overall and have additional white blotches on the head, body and fins.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific.

In Australia it is recorded from north-western Western Australia and from the northern Great Barrier Reef to the central coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. 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. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum. Supplement No. 63: 9-50.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.