Epinephelus ongus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Epinephelidae

Scientific Name: Epinephelus ongus (Bloch, 1790)
Common Name(s):
English White-streaked Grouper, Speckled-fin Rockcod, Specklefin Grouper, Wavy-lined Grouper, White-speckled Rock Cod, White-streaked Groper, White-streaked Rockcod
French Loche A Taches Claires, Merou A Flocons
Spanish Mero Nubifero
Epinephelus slacksmithi Whitley, 1959
Epinephelus summana Whitley, 1954 ssp. hostiaretis
Holocentrus ongus Bloch, 1790
Serranus bataviensis Bleeker, 1849
Serranus dichromopterus Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus reticulatus Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus tumilabris Valenciennes, 1828
Serranus tumilebris Valenciennes, 1828

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Russell, B., Heemstra, P.C., Pollard, D., Fennessy, S., Kulbicki, M. & Cabanban, A.S.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Epinephelus ongus is listed as Least Concern, since it is widespread, known to be locally abundant in some places and occurs in some well-managed protected areas. However, the species is targeted within spawning aggregations and forms a substantial portion of catch in some areas (e.g., Okinawa, Japan) and therefore warrants close monitoring.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:General
Epinephelus ongus is an Indo-West Pacific species distributed from East Africa to the Ryukyu Islands (Japan), Marshall Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, and northern Australia. It is recently recorded from Tonga (Randall et al. 2003). It is also reported from Somalia and India by Heemstra and Randall (1984), but valid records and specimens have not been found (Randall and Heemstra 1991). It is closely related to Epinephelus summana, known only from the Red Sea.

Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia), Fiji, Indonesia (Bali, Java, Kalimantan, Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, Papua, Sulawesi, Sumatra), Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, Ogasawara-shoto, Ryukyu Islands, Shikoku), Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak), Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mozambique, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea (Bismarck Archipelago, North Solomons), Philippines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
Countries occurrence:
Australia; Cambodia; China; Comoros; Fiji; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; RĂ©union; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):60
Upper depth limit (metres):20
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Epinephelus ongus is common in protected coral-rich habitats.

Fisheries-dependent data
Epinephelus ongus is the most dominant serranid species in the Naha market in Okinawa (Craig 2007). It represented 0.3% of experimental grouper catch in New Caledonia (IRD database). It is not common in catch in the Maldives fishery. There are declining catches of serranids that includes this species in the live and dead fish markets in Sabah.

Fisheries-independent data
Very low densities 15- to 0 fish/50 km sq. Highest densities on fringing reefs.

Spawning aggregations reported around Kavieng, Papua New Guinea and Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands (Hamilton et al. 2005, Hamilton and Kama 2004) and reported to have a peak spawning season in many areas of Roviana Lagoon that occurs between October and January each year, but at some sites at least, spawning aggregations form over a much more extended period of the year (Hamilton and Kama 2004). Spawning aggregations are also reported in Sabah (Daw 2004).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:General
Epinephelus ongus is a reef-associated species that inhabits inner coastal and lagoon reefs, but is also found in brackish waters where it occurs in ledges and caves. Adults are usually found in 20 to 60+ m depth (IRD database). It has been reported to occur in middle and outer shelf reefs, lagoons and back-reefs (Newman et al 1997, Pears 2005). It maximum size is reported to be 40.0 cm TL (Randall et al. 1990) but more usually 25 cm SL (31 cm TL) (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

A cryptic species, feeds mainly macrofauna (crabs fishes shrimps and prawns) (Blaber et al. 1990).

Reproduction and growth
The sex ratio recorded from experimental fishing is 8:21 males-to-females. Only 5% of fish over 35 cm TL (IRD database).

Spawning aggregations in northern Borneo are thought to be extirpated. In Sabah, spawning is reported to occur January-April and December (Daw 2004).

Munro and Williams (1985) studied its growth within a Papua New Guinea population and length-weight relationships have been established for a New Caledonia population (Letourneur et al. 1998).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The two main threats to Epinephelus ongus are overfishing and habitat loss, particularly in areas where destructive fishing methods are used (e.g., Philippines, Indonesia). Although not very common, it is of some interest to fisheries in Japan (and probably elsewhere) and caught with hook and line spear and traps (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No measures specific to Epinephelus ongus are known, although it likely occurs in marine protected areas in some parts of its range.

Citation: Russell, B., Heemstra, P.C., Pollard, D., Fennessy, S., Kulbicki, M. & Cabanban, A.S. 2008. Epinephelus ongus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132804A3456005. . Downloaded on 22 April 2018.
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