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Epinephelus tauvina

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES EPINEPHELIDAE

Scientific Name: Epinephelus tauvina
Species Authority: (Forsskål 1775)
Common Name(s):
English Greasy Grouper, Speckled Rockcod, Estuary Rock-cod, Greasy Rockcod, Green Grouper, Reef Cod, Giant Grouper, Spotted Grouper
French Loche Mouchetee, Merou Loutre, Vielle Lutre, Vielle Negre
Spanish Mero Lutria
Synonym(s):
Cephalopholis tauvina (Forsskal, 1775)
Epinephalus tauvina (Forsskal, 1775)
Epinephelus chewa Morgans, 1966
Epinephelus elongatus Schultz, 953
Epinephelus megachir (non Richardson, 1846)
Epinephelus salmoides (non Lacepede, 1802)
Epinephelus tauvina (Forsskål 1775)
Holocentrus pantherinus Lacepede, 1802
Perca tauvina Forsskal, 1775
Serranus goldei Macleay, 1882
Serranus jansenii Bleeker, 1857
Serranus pantherinus (Lacepede, 1802)
Taxonomic Notes: Most of the literature concerning E. tauvina that was published before 1984 was based on misidentifications of E. coioides, E. malabaricus and E. lanceolatus (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): Rhodes, K.L., Russell, B., Pollard, D. & Kulbicki, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Justification:
Epinephelus tauvina is listed as Data Deficient on the basis of limited information due to mis-identification with congenerics, hence it is difficult to establish population trends.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Epinephelus tauvina is known from the Red Sea and the East African coast, east to the Pitcairn group, north to Ryukus (Japan), and to Lord Howe Island (Australia) in the south. There are records from China, (south China Sea), Taiwan, Australia, and the United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland Island, Baker Island, Jarvis Island, Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef) (B. Mundy pers. comm.). Museum records of the species are available from the Timor Sea, Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands (Kiribati), Papua New Guinea, and the Malay Archipelago (D. Pollard pers. comm.).
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; India; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; 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: General
Partly due to the taxonomic confusion with other groupers, there is no reliable data that show population declines for Epinephelus tauvina. The species is fairly common in lightly fished areas of Micronesia (Myers 1989).

Fisheries-dependent data
Serranid catch, in general, declining in Sabah, but there is no species-specific data from this area for this species.

FAO catch data:
From Malaysia: 1982 (90t), 1983 (226t); questionable since not distributed in the area.
From Saudi Arabia: 2000 (958t), 2001 (1113 t) in 2002 (1173 t); in 2003 1992 t; in 2004 786

It appears in the Great Barrier Reef at 0.04 fish/1,000 m² (Pears 2005).

Habitat
Epinephelus tauvina is found more commonly in New Caledonia on the barrier reef than in fringing and intermediate reef, but in low densities (0.06 fish/1000 m sq) (IRD database). It is not common in Fiji, Tonga or French Polynesia.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: General
Epinephelus tauvina prefers clear water areas on coral reefs; juveniles have been taken on reef flats and in tidepools and mangrove estuaries; adults are found in deeper waters up to 50 m. Along the Great Barrier Reef, Newman et al. 1997 found the species on outer reef slope. The maximum recorded size is 75 cm TL (61 cm SL) (Heemstra and Randall 1993), but there is one report of 107 cm TL in Lau and Li (2000) and another of 2 m in Huang (1994), that are likely misidentifications for the species. E. tauvina is probably solitary by nature. It is occasionally ciguatoxic.

Feeding
Feed on fishes mainly and sometimes crustaceans (Parrish 1987, Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Reproduction
The spawning season in India is Oct-Feb; In Kuwait: April-July (questionable since no occur in the area, may be E. coioides). Some recent published data are questionable as a result of misidentifications of E. coioides, E. malabaricus and E. lanceolatus (Heemstra and Randall 1993), for example: Reproductive biology of E. tauvina in the Kuwaiti waters (Abu-Hakima 1987), in the Arabian gulf waters (El-Sayed 1999), and others.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): General
The greatest threat to Epinephelus tauvina is likely overfishing. It is caught by multiple gears, including hook-and-line, spear, and traps.

Fisheries
This species is important to artisanal and recreational fisheries, and is found in the Live Reef Fish Trade (Lee and Sadovy 1998). It is a minor component of serranid catch in Pohnpei (Rhodes and Tupper 2007). In southern Mozambique (Sean Fennessy pers. comm.), E. tauvina was one of the commercial important fishes caught by hook-and-line in 1993 to 2005.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Epinephelus tauvina is found in some marine protected areas within its range, such as the fishing Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, WA, Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage Area, Queensland, Australia.

Citation: Rhodes, K.L., Russell, B., Pollard, D. & Kulbicki, M. 2008. Epinephelus tauvina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 November 2014.
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