Oneblotch Grouper, Epinephelus melanostigma Schultz 1953

Other Names: Blackspot Cod, Blackspot Grouper, Coral Cod, One-blotch Grouper

A Oneblotch Grouper, Epinephelus melanostigma, at Gnaraloo, North West Cape, Western Australia, September 2020. Source: Alex Hoschke / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A relatively small grouper covered in close-set polygon-shaped dark brown spots, with smaller spots on the head, a single large black blotch or saddle on the mid-back extending onto the dorsal fin, and a rounded tail.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Epinephelus melanostigma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024,

Oneblotch Grouper, Epinephelus melanostigma Schultz 1953

More Info


North West Cape to the Murion Islands and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific: East Africa, Madagascar and western Mascarenes east to Line Islands and Cook Islands, north to Taiwan, south to Western Australia.
Inhabits lagoons, reef flats, and reef slopes at depths to 30 m, usually above 10 m.


Dorsal fin XI, 14-16; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 17-19; Lateral-line scales 56-68; Gill rakers 7-10 + 16-19.  
Greatest depth of body 2.9-3.4 in SL; head length 2.2-2.4 in SL; interorbital area flat or slightly concave; preopercle rounded, serrae mostly covered by skin; upper edge of operculum straight or slightly convex; subequal posterior and anterior nostrils; maxilla reaches to or beyond vertical at rear edge of eye; 3-5 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw, inner teeth about twice as long as outer ones.
Broad zone along side of body with ctenoid scales, cycloid scales elsewhere; body with auxiliary scales.
Caudal fin rounded; pelvic fins short, not reaching anus, 2.0-2.6 in head length.

Species Citation

Epinephelus melanostigma Schultz 1953, Bulletin of the United States National Museum 202(1): 348, fig. 54. Type locality: Swains Island, Samoan Group.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Oneblotch Grouper, Epinephelus melanostigma Schultz 1953


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Craig, M.T., Sadovy de Mitcheson, Y.J. & Heemstra, P.C. 2011. Groupers of the World: a Field and Market Guide. Grahamstown, South Africa : NISC Ltd 356 pp., Appendix 47 pp. 

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. 

Heemstra, P.C. & Randall, J.E. 1993. Groupers of the World (Family Serranidae, Subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 Vol. 16. Rome: FAO. pp. 1-382 

Heemstra, P.C. & Randall, J.E. 1999. Family Serranidae. pp. 2442-2548 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp. 

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

Sadovy, Y. 2018. Epinephelus melanostigma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T132746A100551245. Downloaded on 17 September 2020.

Schultz, L.P. 1953. Family Serranidae: groupers and sea basses. pp. 328-388, figs 51-62, pls 25-32 in Schultz, L.P., Herald, E.S., Lachner, E.A., Welander, A.D. & Woods, L.P. (eds). Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Vol. 1. Families Asymmetrontidae through Siganidae. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 202(1): 1-685, figs 1-90, pls 1-74

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311065

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:33 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map