Duskytail Grouper, Epinephelus bleekeri (Vaillant 1878)

Other Names: Bleeker's Grouper, Bleeker's Rock Cod

A Duskytail Grouper, Epinephelus bleekeri, in West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen. License: All rights reserved

A brownish grouper covered in golden-brown spots that extend onto thedorsal and anal fins and upper third of the caudal fin, lower half of the caudal fin bluish, and often broad indistinct bars along the body.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Epinephelus bleekeri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4507

Duskytail Grouper, Epinephelus bleekeri (Vaillant 1878)

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Shark Bay, Western Australia, to the Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Indo-west Pacific, from the Persian Gulf to Taiwan, Indonesia and the northern Australia. Inhabits coral and rocky reefs in depths of 30-105 m, although the species does not occur in areas with well-developed coral reefs.


Dorsal fin XI, 16-18; Anal fin III, 8-9.
Body elongate, greatest depth 3.0-3.5 in SL; head length 2.4-2.7 times in SL; interorbital area flat to slightly convex; preopercle angle with 2-9 enlarged serrae, adults with a notch above angle; operculum with straight upper edge; maxilla scaled, reaching to or beyond vertical at rear edge of eye; 2 rows of subequal teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw. 
Caudal fin truncate to slightly rounded; pelvic fins short, 1.9-2.4 in head length.
Body scales ctenoid, except cycloid scales on nape, thorax and ventrally on abdomen; body with auxiliary scales.

Species Citation

Serranus bleekeri Vaillant, in Vaillant &  Bocour 1878, Recherches zoologiques. Quatrième partie. Paris. Pt 4: 47, 69. Type locality: Jakarta, Java, Indonesia


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Duskytail Grouper, Epinephelus bleekeri (Vaillant 1878)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

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. 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 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. 

Ma, K.Y. & Craig, M.T. 2018. An Inconvenient Monophyly: An Update on the Taxonomy of the Groupers (Epinephelidae). Copeia 106(3): 443–456. https://doi.org/10.1643/CI-18-055  

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

Russell, B., Samoilys, M., Cornish, A. & Carpenter, K. 2008. Epinephelus bleekeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132826A3462138. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T132826A3462138.en. Downloaded on 27 September 2018.

Vaillant, L.L. in Vaillant, L.L. & Bocourt, F. 1878. Études sur les poissons. Mission scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amérique centrale. Recherches zoologiques. Quatrième partie. Paris. Pt 4. 41-120 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311041

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened (Least Concern in NT)

Depth:30-105 m

Fishing:Commercial & recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:76 cm TL

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