Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Epinephelidae

Scientific Name: Epinephelus caninus
Species Authority: (Valenciennes, 1843)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dogtooth Grouper
Spanish Cherne Denton, Cachorro, Cherne Ley, Mero, Mero Dentol, Mero Denton
French Merou Nior, Merou Gris
Cerna canina (Valenciennes, 1843)
Serranus caninus Valenciennes, 1843
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 27 August 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 27 August 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Heemstra, P.C., Rocha, L., Choat, J.H., Craig, M.T., Bertoncini, A.A. & Ferreira, B.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Although widespread, Epinephelus caninus is heavily fished in some parts of its range, but there is very little population information to determine the extent of any decline. Therefore, this species is listed as Data Deficient until more information comes available. The species should be carefully monitored and re-assessed regularly.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: General
Epinephelus caninus is an eastern Atlantic species that is distributed from Portugal to Angola, including the Mediterranean and Canary Islands (Spain). There are no records from the northern coast of Spain, France, or the northwestern coast of Italy.

Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Albania to Italy, France (Corsica), Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Canary Islands, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, and Angola.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Benin; Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; France (Corsica); Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Malta; Mauritania; Montenegro; Morocco; Nigeria; Portugal; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Slovenia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – southeast; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Lower depth limit (metres): 400
Upper depth limit (metres): 30
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: General
There is very little population information for Epinephelus caninus, but it is known to be rare in the Canary Islands.

Fisheries-independent data
Fishery-independent survey at protected and unprotected areas in the Mediterranean indicated that it is now rare. The highest abundance observed was 0.2 individual per 250 m² (Charton et al. 2000).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: General
Epinephelus caninus is a demersal species that occurs on sandy mud bottoms 30 to 400 m. A maximum weight of 78 kg was reported by Jose Manuel, Spain (05/05).

Feeds on fishes and invertebrates.

A single specimen from Majorca was aged at 75 years old; 164 cm TL; 67 kg (Morales-Nin, Bauza and Grau 2005).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overfishing for commercial trade is a major threat in many parts of its range, e.g., in the Mediterranean and the coast of west Africa.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Epinephelus caninus occurs in protected areas in the Mediterranean, but there is no protection in its African range. Harvest management is recommended for the overfished part of its range.

Citation: Heemstra, P.C., Rocha, L., Choat, J.H., Craig, M.T., Bertoncini, A.A. & Ferreira, B. 2008. Epinephelus caninus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132796A3453713. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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