Epinephelus epistictus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Epinephelidae

Scientific Name: Epinephelus epistictus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1842)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dotted Grouper, Black-spotted Grouper, Black-spotted Rockcod, Broken-line Grouper, Brown Rockcod, Spottedback Grouper
French Diri, Merou Pale
Spanish Mero Palido
Epinephelus praeopercularis (Boulenger, 1888)
Epinephelus stimogrammacus Cheng & Yang, 1983
Serranus epistictus Temminck & Schlegel, 1842
Serranus praeopercularis Boulenger, 1888
Taxonomic Notes: Sometimes misidentified as Epinephelus magniscuttis or Epinephelus heniochus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): To, A.W.L & Pollard, D.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Epinephelus epistictus is listed as Data Deficient because it is a deepwater species with very little available information with which to make a more detailed assessment. The fishery of this species is largely overlooked or unreported, rendering quantitative assessment impossible. Qualitative information is scarce and available information shows the definite rarity of this species in current fishery within its range of distribution. Further quantitative information on its natural abundance is necessary for suggesting whether current rarity is due to its preference to deep waters (as shallow-waters fishery is less likely to catch this species), its already-depleted stock, or natural low abundance. Also information on biological parameters (e.g. maturity pattern, growth rate) is completely lacking for assessing the vulnerability of this species to potential fishery. The status of this species remains unclear.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Epinephelus epistictus is a widespread Indo-West Pacific species, occurring from South Africa and the Red Sea, east to Papua New Guinea, north to southern Japan, and south to the Gulf of Carpenteria (Australia).
Countries occurrence:
Australia; China; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Korea, Republic of; Madagascar; Mozambique; Myanmar; Oman; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; South Africa; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; United Arab Emirates; Viet Nam; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):291
Upper depth limit (metres):71
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Epinephelus epistictus is generally rare within its range.

Fisheries-dependent data
A rare species in fisheries within its range of distribution, for example in Taiwan (K-T Shao pers. comm.). Available information since 1987 suggests that this species is relatively rare in area around South Africa and Mozambique (Sean Fennessy pers. comm.) even within marine reserves (reported from dive and angling surveys within 8 to 45 m depth zone from 1987 to 1992) (Chater et al. 1993, Chater et al. 1995). This species is only caught very occasionally around South Africa and Mozambique waters (43 out of 1,867 groupers) (Lichucha et al. 1999, Lichucha et al. 2000) from commercial line-fish catch and cage-trap from 1997 to 1998. Records by Chan (1968) and from a 15-month survey in Hong Kong SAR from 2004 to 2006 (Allen To unpub. data) (only six specimens ranging from 100 to 300 mm TL) suggests that this species is now rare in commercial catches (mostly by trawling) since the 1960s, despite its good edible quality (Chan 1968). However, its natural abundance may be overlooked due to its preference for relatively deep waters (71 to 291 m), potentially leading to a decreased encounter rate from underwater survey and most shallow-waters fisheries.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Epinephelus epistictus is a demersal species that occurs in the continental shelf (71 to 291 m) over soft bottom. It also inhabits rocky bottoms. Nothing has been published on its biology. Epinephelus epistictus is a medium-size species attaining 800 mm TL. Except for its preference to inhabit deep waters over rocky bottoms and suggested protogyny (Heemstra and Randall 1993), nothing has been published on its biology.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Epinephelus epistictus is potentially threatened by overfishing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Available information suggests that Epinephelus epistictus does not occur within established marine reserves in South Africa and Mozambique (reported from dive surveys from 1987 to 1992) (Chater et al. 1993, Chater et al. 1995). Information from other regions is lacking. There is no known specific fishery regulation or management on this species.

Citation: To, A.W.L & Pollard, D. 2008. Epinephelus epistictus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132824A3461503. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
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