Potato Rockcod, Epinephelus tukula Morgans 1959

Other Names: Black-spotted Rock-cod, Potato Cod, Potato Grouper

A Potato Rockcod, Epinephelus tukula, at Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, June 2015. Source: Ian Shaw / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial


A large, robust pale brownish-grey cod covered in large dark widely-spaced blotches, dark streaks radiating from the eyes and small dark spots on the fins.

Although considered harmless, the Potato Rockcod is inqusitive, and on rare occasions, large individuals may be aggressive.

Video of Potato Rockcod at 'The Cod Hole" on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Images and videos of Potato Rockcods at ARKive

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Epinephelus tukula in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3850

Potato Rockcod, Epinephelus tukula Morgans 1959

More Info


Recorded in Australia from the Shark Bay area, Western Australia, to Moreton Bay, Queensland. Elsewhere, widespread in the tropical Indo-west Pacific.


Caught for the live reef fish trade and taken by recreational anglers.

Species Citation

Epinephelus tukula Morgans, 1959, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 13 1(10): 651, pls 17, 19. Type locality: Mafia Island, Tanzania.


Dianne J. Bray

Potato Rockcod, Epinephelus tukula Morgans 1959


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Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

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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 2069-2790 pp.

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

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50

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)

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Morgans, J.F.C. 1959. Three confusing species of serranid fish, one described as new, from East Africa. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 13 1(10): 642-656 figs 17-19 [dated 1958]

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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.

Yeh. S., Dai, Q., Chu, Y., Kuo, C., Ting, Y. & Chang, C. 2003. Induced sex change, spawning and larviculture of potato grouper, Epinephelus tukula. Aquaculture 228: 371-381.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311068

Biology:Capable of changing sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-150 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:200 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map