Hyporthodus mystacinus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Epinephelidae

Scientific Name: Hyporthodus mystacinus (Poey, 1852)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Misty Grouper, Bigeyed Grouper, Black Grouper, Convict Grouper, Moustache Grouper
French Merou, Merou Brouillard
Spanish Cherna, Cherna Del Alto, Cherna De Lo Alto, Cherna Judia Negra, Cherna Pintada, Cherno Del Alto, Guasa, Mero, Mero Gallina, Mero Listado
Epinephelus mystacinus Poey, 1852
Epinephelus octofasciatus (non Griffin, 1926)
Hyporthodus mystacinus (Poey, 1852)
Serranus mystacinus Poey, 1852
Taxonomic Notes: Misidentified as Hyporthodus octofasciatus based on specimen collected from Japan (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Eastern Pacific population may be a distinct species (Craig and Heemstra, pers. comm.).

A recent publication changed the generic name of this species to Hyporthodus (Craig and Hastings 2007) and a change of family name to Epinephelidae (Smith and Craig 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Rocha, L., Ferreira, B., Choat, J.H., Craig, M. & Sadovy, Y.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Moss, K. (Grouper and Wrasse Red List Authority)
Based on its deep habitat, and apparent constant catches, Hyporthodus mystacinus is currently not experiencing significant decline, but warrants continued monitoring since little is known of its biology and because it is a target of the commercial fishery. The current assessment of this species is Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Hyporthodus mystacinus occurs in the western Atlantic, where it is found in Bermuda, North Carolina (USA), Florida (USA), Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Yucatan (Mexico), Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Leeward islands to Trinidad. In the eastern Pacific, it is reported from the Galápagos Islands, Paramount Seamount, coastal Ecuador, northeast coast of Brazil south to 22° and Trindade Island.
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico; Montserrat; Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):400
Upper depth limit (metres):30
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Hyporthodus mystacinus was described as "mysterious" and "rarely seen" grouper species (Schobernd 2004).

Fishery-independent data
There are no studies on the abundance except the annual species and abundance survey conducted by novice and expert divers.

Fishery-independent data by country
USA-based on the information from Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), the sighting frequency (SF; a value calculated as dividing the number of survey with Hyporthodus mystacinus encountered [n] by the total number of survey carried out in a particular year [N]) of Hyporthodus mystacinus in tropical western Atlantic ranged from 48.0% to 60.5%, with an average of 0.010% from 1993 to 2005 (; accessed on 15th Sep 2006) (Table 1, in Supplementary Material).

See the Supplementary Material for Table 1: sighting frequency of H. mystacinus from underwater visla census by Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF).

Bullock and Smith (1991) did not record any Hyporthodus mystacinus during their survey on groupers from the west Florida shelf.

Fishery-dependent Data
NMFS is the only source on the landings of Hyporthodus mystacinus.

Fishery-dependent data by country
According to NMFS, annual landings of commercial catches of Hyporthodus mystacinus in the USA from 1990 to 2003, the quantity caught stayed relatively low (0.8 to 2.0 metric tonnes) with no data available in 1991 to 1995, 1997 to 1998, 2001 and 2004 to 2005 (, accessed on 14th September 2006) (Table 2, in Supplementary Material).

See the Supplementary Material for Table 2: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) commercial catch data 1990-2003.
Commercial landings are minor and there is little recreational take in SE US.

Central Brazil
The catch per unit effort for Hyporthodus mystacinus in Brazil was 3.2 fish per 1,000 hooks between 100 to 300 m.
For further information about this species, see 132827_Hyporthodus_mystacinus.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:General
Hyporthodus mystacinus is a bathydemersal species that is typically solitary and occurs from 100 to 400 m. Juveniles sometimes occur in water as shallow as 30 m.

Feeds on fishes, crustaceans, and squids. Virtually nothing is known of the age, growth, and reproduction of this species.

Size and mortality
Hyporthodus mystacinus attains a maximum body weight of 107.0 kg, with male attaining a maximum size of 160 cm TL and females at least 100 cm TL (Appeldorn et al. 1997, Heemstra and Randall 1993). Natural mortality is estimated to be 0.14 (J. McGovern, pers. com.).

Reproduction and maturity
The estimated size at maturity is 81.1 cm (31.9 in), although this may not be accurate (J. McGovern, pers. com). No information is available on its reproductive life history, including spawning and sexual pattern.

Virtually nothing is known of the age and growth of this species (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hyporthodus mystacinus is threatened by both recreational and commercial fisheries (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are closed areas in the Gulf of Mexico (Madison-Swanson) and South Atlantic (Oculina HAPC) where misty grouper may occur. In addition, Amendment 14 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan of the South Atlantic Region will be implemented during 2007. Misty grouper may occur in some of the proposed South Atlantic MPAs.

Citation: Rocha, L., Ferreira, B., Choat, J.H., Craig, M. & Sadovy, Y. 2008. Hyporthodus mystacinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132827A3462434. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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