|Scientific Name:||Epinephelus melanostigma|
|Species Authority:||Schultz, 1953|
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).|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Data Deficient ver 3.1|
|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)|
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.
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.
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.
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:||
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|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).|
|Habitat and Ecology:||
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).
Feeds on fishes and benthic crustaceans (Masuda and Allen 1993).
|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:||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. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 June 2013.|
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