I.22628-008 - Epinephelus hexagonatus (Forster, 1801) Click to enlarge image
Epinephelus hexagonatus Image: Neerav Bhatt
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    hexagonatus
    Genus
    Epinephelus
    Family
    Serranidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

The Wirenet Rockcod has brown polygonal spots on the head and body. The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

Identification

The Wirenet Rockcod has brown polygonal spots on the head and body. There is a small white triangle between each of the polygonal spots, and five groups of darker brown spots along the base of the dorsal fin.

Habitat

The Wirenet Rockcod is usually seen in shallow outer reef areas that are exposed to surge. It is most often found at depths of less than 6 m, but may be found at 10 m or more.

Distribution

The Wirenet Rockcod occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific, from East Africa, Madagascar and Christmas Island, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to French Polynesia. In Australia the Wirenet Rockcod is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia and the 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.



Feeding and diet

Feeding occurs during the day and at night. The main prey items are fishes and crustaceans.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The colouration of this fish provides camouflage in the dappled sunlight of shallow reef habitats. The species is usually seen as solitary individuals.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
  2. Heemstra, P.C. & J.E. Randall. 1993. Groupers of the World. (Family Serranidae, Subfamily Epinephelinae). An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Grouper, Rockcod, Hind, Coral Grouper and Lyretail Species Known to Date. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. FAO. Rome. Pp. 382.
  3. 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.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 222.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 415.