Queensland Groper, <i>Epinephelus lanceolatus</i> Click to enlarge image
A 1.7m long Queensland Groper, Epinephelus lanceolatus, at a depth of 30m, Curtain Artificial Reef, off Moreton Island, Queensland, November 2005. Image: Dave Harasti
© Dave Harasti

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    lanceolatus
    Genus
    Epinephelus
    Family
    Serranidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to at least 2.7 m in length and over 400 kg. It is one of the largest bony fishes, and is the largest on coral reefs.

Introduction

The Queensland Groper is one of the largest bony fishes, and is the largest on coral reefs. The species has been implicated in fatal attacks on humans, but none are fully documented.

Identification

The Queensland Groper has a large mouth and a rounded caudal fin. Juveniles have irregular black and yellow markings. Adults are green-grey to grey-brown with faint mottling. There are numerous small black spots on the fins.



Distribution

It occurs in tropical waters throughout the Indo-Pacific but is also recorded occasionally in temperate waters.

In Australia it is known from the southern coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to the southern 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.



Feeding and diet

Crayfish have been reported as a favourite item of prey.

Economic impacts

The Queensland Groper has been implicated in fatal attacks on humans.

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. Heemstra, P.C. & J.E. Randall. 1999. Serranidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. (eds) FAO species identification guide for Fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 4. FAO. Pp. 2790.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  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.