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Epinephelus melanostigma

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES EPINEPHELIDAE

Scientific Name: Epinephelus melanostigma
Species Authority: Schultz, 1953
Common Name(s):
English One-blotch Grouper, Schultz's Rockcod, Black-spot Grouper, Blackspot Honeycomb Gouper
French Loche Ponctuee, Merou Doussard
Spanish Mero Espaldaron
Synonym(s):
Epinephelus melanostigma Schultz, 1953
Taxonomic Notes: Epinephelus melanostigma is one of the “reticulated groupers” which comprise nine shallow water coral reef species that have a rounded caudal fin and close-set dark brown spots, with pale interspaces forming a network on the body. These species have been much confused in the literature (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Russell, B., Rhodes, K., Myers, R., Heemstra, P.C. & Kulbicki, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Justification:
Epinephelus melanostigma is listed as Data Deficient owing to confusion in records of other serranids in the hexagonatus complex. The species is likely a minor component of both artisinal and live reef food fisheries.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: General
Epinephelus melanostigma is an Indo-West Pacific species found from Natal, South Africa to the central Pacific. It is not known from the Red Sea nor Persian Gulf.

Specific
Australia: New South Wales - Lord Howe Is., Cook Islands, Hong Kong, Indonesia: Bali, Java , Lesser Sunda Is., Moluccas , Papua , Sumatra, Japan: Ogasawara-shoto , Ryukyu Is., Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia Federated States of, Mozambique, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea: Bismarck Archipelago, North Solomons, Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal, Taiwan, Province of China ,Tokelau, United States Minor Outlying Islands.
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory; China; Cook Islands; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Madagascar; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Nauru; Oman; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Taiwan, Province of China; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Little known about its population or abundance, probably because Epinephelus melanostigma is a member of the reticulated (hexagonatus) grouper complex and easily confused with other species. It is not commonly observed. It constituted less than 2% of catch in reef fish fisheries in Pohnpei in 2006 (Rhodes and Tupper 2007).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: General
Epinephelus melanostigma is a coral reef-associated species occurring in outer reef flats and shallow lagoons (Myers 1999), reportedly in depths less than 7 m (Heemstra and Randall 1993) although also reported to occur in reefs at a depth of about 30 m (Fischer et al. 1990) and has appeared in trawls (Gloerfelt-Tarp and Kailola 1984). Its maximum size is reported to be 35.0 cm TL (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). There are reports of ciguatera poisoning for this species (Dalzell 1991).

Feeding
Feeds on fishes and benthic crustaceans (Masuda and Allen 1993).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Epinephelus melanostigma is found in subsistence fisheries, but because of its small size and apparent rarity, it is of little or no commercial importance. Habitat degradation (coral loss) may also impact this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Epinephelus melanostigma occurs in marine protected areas within its range, but there are no specific measures for the species.

Citation: Russell, B., Rhodes, K., Myers, R., Heemstra, P.C. & Kulbicki, M. 2008. Epinephelus melanostigma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.
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