Hyporthodus septemfasciatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Epinephelidae

Scientific Name: Hyporthodus septemfasciatus (Thunberg, 1793)
Common Name(s):
English Convict Grouper, Convict Rockcod, Sevenband Grouper
French Merou Bagnard
Spanish Mero Carcelario
Epinephelus septemfasciatus (Thunberg, 1793)
Perca 7-fasciata Thunberg, 1793
Perca septemfasciata Thunberg, 1793
Perca septemfasciatus Thunberg, 1793
Plectropoma susuki Cuvier, 1828
Serranus octocinctus Temminck & Schlegel, 1842
Taxonomic Notes: A recent publication changed the generic name of this species from Epinephelus to Hyporthodus (Craig and Hastings 2007) and a change of family name to Epinephelidae (Smith and Craig 2007).

This species has been widely confused with the closely related species Hyporthodus octofasciatus, and all specimens recorded from outside (and some from within) the above indicated range seem to be misidentifications of the latter species, probably inclusive of those specimens recorded from deepwater seamounts. These misidentifications include all catch records from Western Australia, and elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. The significant differences between the two species are outlined in the account for H. septemfasciatus in Heemstra and Randall (1993), though the overall confusion of the two species seems to arise because H. septemfasciatus generally has eight distinct dark vertical bars, and H. octofasciatus generally has seven. Juveniles of the other closely related species, H. ergastularius, are also similar to and can be confused with H. septemfasciatus (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Pollard, D. & Liu, M.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Hyporthodus septemfasciatus is assessed as being of Least Concern as, although it has apparently been heavily exploited within parts of its relatively restricted north-eastern Asian range in the past, it is currently being bred in captivity for aquaculture purposes, and also for release back into the sea to enhance wild populations in this area (Anon 2003). However due to the apparently heavy exploitation, monitoring of catches of this species should be ongoing.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:General
Hyporthodus septemfasciatus is a Northwest Pacific species known with certainty only from Japan, Korea, and China. Reports from other areas appear to be based on misidentifications of Hyporthodus octofasciatus.

Japan, South Korea, North Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Reports from other areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans (primarily to the south) appear to be based on misidentifications of H. octofasciatus (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

The geographic range of this species is restricted to only subtropical to warm temperate (~24 to ~40° N) north-eastern Asian waters (around Japan, Korea and China), and all other records (including fisheries catch records) from other areas of the Indo-Pacific region apparently refer to H. octofasciatusHyporthodus septemfasciatus is, however, cultivated for aquaculture purposes outside this range (e.g., in Italy).
Countries occurrence:
China; Hong Kong; Japan; Korea, Republic of; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):360
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population status of Hyporthodus septemfasciatus is unknown, but wild populations have reputedly been depleted to some extent by fishing in some parts of its range.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:General
Hyporthodus septemfasciatus is a reef-associated, non-migratory species that occurs near shore, including semi-enclosed sea areas in rocky reefs in shallow waters. The species is commercially cultured in Japan and, apparently, in Italy. Specimens recorded from deepwater seamounts (down to ~360 m) are probably H. octofasciatus, which is known to be a deepwater species. The maximum recorded size of the species is ~155 cm and ~63 kg.

Hyporthodus septemfasciatus is a protogynous hermaphrodite, and has been bred and raised in captivity (Kitajima et al. 1991, Anon 2003). There are numerous references in the scientific literature to its reproduction, diseases and parasites, etc. in relation to its aquaculture potential.

It is a macrofaunal predator, feeding on small fishes and crustaceans.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No specific threats to Hyporthodus septemfasciatus have been reported, although it has reputedly been heavily exploited throughout large parts of its range. The fact that it is now being bred in captivity and released back into the wild is encouraging in this regard (Anon 2003).

This species is of some commercial fisheries importance in Japan, and probably also in Korea and China (Heemstra and Randall, 1993). Much interest has been shown in it more recently, in Japan and elsewhere, as an aquaculture species (e.g., Moon et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Hyporthodus septemfasciatus is now being bred and released back into the wild for stock enhancement purposes in Japan (Anon 2003). It may also be protected in some marine protected areas in various places within its range.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.3. Species re-introduction -> 3.3.1. Reintroduction
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 National : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Anonymous. 2003. News from Japan, News Sheet No. 6. In: IUCN Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group (eds), News Sheet. IUCN.

Craig, M.T. and Hastings, P.A. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of the groupers of the subfamily Epinephelinae (Serranidae) with a revised classification of the Epinephelini. Ichthyological Research 54(1): 1-17.

Heemstra, P.C. and Randall, J.E. 1993. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (Family Serranidae, Subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Kitajima, C., Takaya, M., Tsukashima, Y. and Arakawa, T. 1999.. Development of eggs, larvae and juveniles of the grouper, Epinephelus septemfascxiatus, reared in the laboratory. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 38((1):): 47-55.

Moon, T.S., Park, S.R. and Choi, H.S. 1999.. Study on the development of culture technology for Serranidae. (2) Rearing density of cultured sevenband grouper, Epinephelus septemfasciatus in marine floating net cage. Bulletin of the National Fisheries Reearch and Development Institute. 56:: 33-141.

Randall, J.E. and Heemstra, P.C. 1991. Revision of the Indo-Pacific groupers: (Perciformes: Serranidae: Epinephelinae): with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 20: 1-332.

Citation: Pollard, D. & Liu, M. 2008. Hyporthodus septemfasciatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132807A3456928. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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