Barramundi Cod, Chromileptes altivelis (Valenciennes 1828)

Other Names: Barramundi Rock-cod, Humpback Grouper, Humpback Rockcod, Humpback Sea-bass, Hump-backed Cod, Hump-backed Rock Cod, Plum Pudding Cod, Polka Dot Cod

A Barramundi Cod, Chromileptes altivelis, in Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A pale greenish to pale greenish-brown cod with scattered round black spots and large dusky blotches on head, body and fins, and a very concave head profile. Juveniles are pale greyish with large round black spots.
This species was previously known as Chromileptes altivelis. In a genetic study of epinepheline groupers, Ma & Craig (2018) determined that this species belongs in the genus Epinephelus

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Chromileptes altivelis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024,

Barramundi Cod, Chromileptes altivelis (Valenciennes 1828)

More Info


Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia, around the tropical north to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and northern New South Wales, with juveniles to at least Sydney. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific.
Often inhabits lagoons and sheltered inner reefs, often in silty areas to 40 m; juveniles usually in shallow waters, including tide pools.


Carnivore - feeds on crustaceans and fishes.


The species is a protogynous hermaphrodite, with females changing sex to become males during their life-cycle.


Heavily exploited in the live fish trade in parts of its range. Juveniles are popular aquarium fishes.


Barramundi cod is a "No-take species" in Queensland, and must be released as soon as possible without harm.

Species Citation

Serranus altivelis Valenciennes, 1828, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 2: 324, pl. 55. Type locality: Java and unknown locality.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Barramundi Cod, Chromileptes altivelis (Valenciennes 1828)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

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. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

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. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

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. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

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. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Ma, K.Y. & Craig, M.T. 2018. An Inconvenient Monophyly: An Update on the Taxonomy of the Groupers (Epinephelidae). Copeia 106(3): 443–456.  

Prokop, F. 2002. Australian Fish Guide. Croydon South, Victoria : Australian Fishing Network 256 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

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. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

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. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2 (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Sadovy, Y., Thierry, C., Choat, J.H. & Cabanban, A.S. 2008. Cromileptes altivelis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. . Downloaded on 03 August 2015.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1828. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 2 xxi, 2 + 490 pp., pls 9-40.

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds). 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.
 (as Chromileptes altivelis)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311044


Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable

Depth:1-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium, commercial, aquaculture fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:70 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map