Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Serranidae
(Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Cephalopholis: Greek, kephale = head + Greek, pholis = scale (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 4 - 55 m (Ref. 5222), usually 15 - 20 m (Ref. 89707). Tropical, preferred 26°C (Ref. 107945); 33°N - 10°N, 32°E - 66°E (Ref. 5222)
Western Indian Ocean: only from the northern end of the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf and coast of Pakistan. Records from elsewhere are apparently based on misidentifications of other species. Misidentified as Cephalopholis miniatus by Kuronuma & Abe (1986, Ref. 5999) from Kuwait.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5222); common length : 23.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450); max. reported age: 26 years (Ref. 1784)
soft rays: 8 - 10. distinguished by the following characteristics: body depth 2.7-3.0 in SL; head length 2.4-2.6 in SL; flat interorbital area; rounded preopercle, finely serrate, lower edge fleshy; distinctly convex upper edge of operculum; scaly maxilla, reaching to or somewhat beyond vertical at rear edge of eye; ctenoid body scales, without auxiliary scales (Ref. 089707).
In the Red Sea, it is often found on patchy open reef areas. Feeds diurnally on fishes (64%, mostly pomacentrids) and crustaceans (36%). It is a monogamous species, the pair jointly defends a common territory of up to 62 square m (Ref. 6480). Major threats include overfishing, lack of management and habitat loss (Ref. 089707).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Displays obligate monogamy where a one-to-one pair is established irrespective of resource abundance (Ref. 52884).
Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.11).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (58 of 100) .