Map_thumbnail_large_font

Cephalopholis boenak

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES EPINEPHELIDAE

Scientific Name: Cephalopholis boenak
Species Authority: (Bloch, 1790)
Common Name(s):
English Bluelined Coralcod, Brown-banded Seabass, Brownbarred Grouper, Brown-barred Rockcod, Brownbarred Rockcod, Brown Coral-cod, Brown Coral Cod, Charcoal Grouper, Cherna Chocolate, Chocolate Hind, Dusty-banded Cod, Overcast Grouper, Rock Cod, Vielle Chocolat
Synonym(s):
Bodianus boenak Bloch, 1790

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Thierry, C., Sadovy, Y., Pollard, D., Samoilys, M., Kulbicki, M. & Carpenter, K.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Justification:
Cephalopholis boenak is listed as Least Concern because it is widespread, tolerant of habitat change/loss, and is not known to be in significant decline.
History:
2000 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cephalopholis boenak is an Indo-West Pacific species with a broad distribution from East Africa (Kenya to southern Mozambique), to southern India, and the western Pacific, including the Ryukyu Islands (Japan), Taiwan, and China, and extending south to New Caledonia and northern Australia.

Chocolate hind are exported from the Arafura Sea, but the species is not reported from oceanic islands in the Indian Ocean, except for Aldabra (Seychelles), Comoros, Madagascar, and the Andaman and Lakshadweep islands (India). It is also unknown from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and from the islands of Micronesia, except for Palau. The record from Rodríguez by Heemstra and Randall (1984) could not be verified and is probably erroneous, as is the record from the Seychelles.

Country range reference: FishBase accessed on 19th April 2006.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Comoros; Fiji; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mozambique; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Vanuatu; Viet Nam
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
Although widespread, the geographic range of the chocolate hind is centered in southeast Asia where there is extensive destruction of reef habitat. Following the declines in larger groupers in the Hong Kong area, this species has become a significant component of the grouper catch. Heavy exploitation of the species and absence of management is expected to cause declines in populations in the long term, however, further information is required on abundance and landings in the northern sector of the South China Sea before the extent of the fisheries threat to the population can be determined.

Fishery-dependent
Chan (2000) described C. boenak as the last remaining commercially important grouper in Hong Kong, which is being heavily fished in its smaller size and age classes; half of all specimens sampled from local municipal markets within the last few years were small (112 mm and 143 mm SL) and young (ages two to four years). Despite its importance, there are no official records of landings in Hong Kong (Chan and Sadovy 2002).

Reproduction
Among other similar-sized Cephalopholis species, C. boenak has the smallest size of female maturation, sex change (diandric) and faster growth rate (Chan and Sadovy 2002); the species also exhibits plasticity of sexual development in juveniles which can be mediated by social conditions, as well as male to female sex change (Liu and Sadovy 2004a, b). Such characteristics may make C. boenak more resilient to local fisheries than related species that take longer to mature or that exhibit monandry.

More information on biology and fishery is needed for this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: General
Cephalopholis boenak is a reef-associated, non-migratory species, mainly found in coastal areas down to 30 m. The chocolate hind inhabits silty dead reefs in protected waters and is secretive, but may also be seen on live coral (Sadovy and Cornish 2000). The species is the most abundant in Hong Kong although it is infrequently taken in the coldest winter months when water temperatures go down to 15 to 16°C. More information on biology and fishery is needed for this species.

Feeding
The chocolate hind feeds mainly on fish and crustaceans. Based on a preliminary study on the gut contents of 406 C. boenak collected from the market from Oct 1997 to Mar 1999, identified food items included the body remains of crustaceans (crabs and shrimps), fish, worms and other unknown items (Chan 2000). Myers (1991) and Shao et al. (1992) also recorded C. boenak feeding primarily on fish and crustaceans.

Reproduction
Courtship and pair spawning were observed by Donaldson (1989) in Papua New Guinea. In Hong Kong, it was observed that C. boenak spawned around 22:00 to 01:00 from August to September 2000 for 35 consecutive days and unrelated to moon phase in captivity, where it was taken from local reefs (Liu and Sadovy 2001). Spawning is in pairs and stable groups of a single male and several females were also recorded in the field in Hong Kong (Liu and Sadovy 2005). Based on the gonadosomatic index (GSI) and histological examination of gonads (n=490), the natural spawning season of C. boenak in Hong Kong is from April to October (Chan and Sadovy 2002).

C. boenak is a diandric protogynous hermaphrodite, with the smallest female and male maturing at 80 mm SL and 116 mm SL, respectively (Chan and Sadovy 2002). The smallest and largest transitionals (i.e. apparently changing from female to male) were 128 mm SL (one year old) and 145 mm SL (four years old), respectively (Chan and Sadovy 2002). In captivity, the species can also change sex from adult male to adult female and the sex of juveniles is plastic and can depend on social factors (Liu and Sadovy 2004a, b).

No information is available on fecundity or recruitment. The sex ratio of mature females to mature males was 1.6:1 in Hong Kong according to market samples; it is not known whether this reflects natural sex ratios (Chan and Sadovy 2002).

Maturity and growth
Among other similar-sized Cephalopholis species, C. boenak has the smallest size of female maturation, sex change (diandric) and faster growth rate (Chan and Sadovy 2002); the species also exhibits plasticity of sexual development in juveniles which can be mediated by social conditions, as well as male to female sex change (Liu and Sadovy 2004a, b). Such characteristics may make C. boenak more resilient to local fisheries than related species that take longer to mature or that exhibit monandry.

Length-age relationship: Length-at-age von Bertalanffy growth equation for C. boenak (n=461) was SL =147.66 mm (1-e(-0.49(Age+1.52)) in Hong Kong (Chan and Sadovy 2002).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Consumed as food and taken for aquarium trade (www.fishbase.org; accessed on 1st October 2006). It is caught with hook-and-line, traps, in trawls (Heemstra and Randall 1993), and occasionally by gill-nets and purse-seines (Chan 1968, Chan 2000) and traps (Sadovy and Cornish 2000). According to a 1997 survey of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong, C. boenak made up 15.5% and 25.4% by weight of catches by hand-line and cage trap, respectively (Cook et al. 1997). Liu and Sadovy (2001) stated that C. boenak was not considered of much commercial importance in the past in Hong Kong. However, due to the decline of the catch of large groupers, C. boenak has become one the more important species in the fish market in Hong Kong in recent years and the most frequently taken local grouper. C. boenak was observed to be used as live bait for catching P. leopardus in Coron in the Philippines in 2001 (Thierry T.C. Chan pers. obs.)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): General
Although Cephalopholis boenak was once considered to be too small to be of commercial importance (Heemstra and Randall 1993) it does occur in local markets in Southeast Asia (Sadovy pers. obs.).

Fisheries
This species is heavily exploited in some areas in southeast Asia now that many larger groupers have become severely reduced in commercial catches. It is only a small component of the live reef food fish trade, however, in Hong Kong, a major consumer market for live fish, and there is no management for the species. It is also taken for the marine aquarium trade in Sri Lanka. Nonetheless, if larger groupers continue to decline, it is probable that pressure on this species will increase. In other areas, the species is unlikely to be targeted, but it is a species that occurs as incidental catch in handline fisheries in Australia and speared in Okinawa.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently there are no known conservation or management initiatives for Cephalopholis boenak. Chocolate hind occur in a number of marine protected areas, some in need of better management.

Bibliography [top]

Chan, T.C. 2000. Reproductive biology, age and growth in the Chocolate hind, Cephalopholis boneak (Bloch, 1790), in Hong Kong. MPhil Thesis. The University of Hong Kong.

Chan, T.T.C. and Sadovy, Y. 2002. Reproductive biology, age and growth in the Chocolate hind, Cephalopholis boenak (Bloch, 1790), in Hong Kong. Marine and Freshwater Research 53: 791-803.

Chan, W.L. 1968. Marine Fishes of Hong Kong Part I. Hong Kong Government Press, Hong Kong.

Cook, D.C., Chan, A.L.K., Fok, K.C.C. and Wilson, K.D.P. 1997. A fisheries resource profile prior to artificial reef deployment in Hong Kong. PACON 97 Symposium on Resource Development – Environmental Issues and the Sustainable Development of Coastal Waters. Honolulu (USA).

Donaldson, T.J. 1989. Pair spawning of Cephalopholis boenak (Serranidae). Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 35(4): 497-500.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Liu, M. and Sadovy, Y. 2001. Embryos and early larvae of Cephalopholis boenak (Bloch, 1790) (Serranidae). In: In: C.I. Hendry, G. Van Stappen, M. Willie and P. Srgeloos (eds.). (eds), Larvi’01 – Fish & Shellfish Larviculture Symposium. Vol. 30.. Oostende (Belgium)..

Liu, M. and Sadovy, Y. 2004a. Early gonadal development and primary males in the protogynous epinepheline, Cephalopholis boenak. Journal of Fish Biology 65: 987-1002.

Liu, M. and Sadovy, Y. 2004b. The influence of social factors on adult sex change and juvenile sexual differentiation in a diandric, protogynous epinepheline, Cephalopholis boenak. Journal of Zoology (London) 264: 239-248.

Liu, M. and Sadovy, Y. 2005. Habitat association and social structure of the chocolate hind, Cephalopholis boenak (Pisces: Serranidae: Epinephelinae), at Ping Chau Island, northeastern Hong Kong waters. Environmental Biology of Fishes 74: 9-18.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian reef fishes: a comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam.

Sadovy, Y. and Cornish, A.S. 2000. Reef Fishes of Hong Kong..

Shao, K.T. Chen, J.P. and Shen, S.C. 1992. Marine Fishes of the Ken-Ting National Park. Construction and Plannin Administration, Ministry of Interior, (Hengchun) Taiwan.


Citation: Thierry, C., Sadovy, Y., Pollard, D., Samoilys, M., Kulbicki, M. & Carpenter, K. 2008. Cephalopholis boenak. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 August 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided