Eightbar Grouper, Hyporthodus octofasciatus (Griffin 1926)

Other Names: Barcod, Convict Cod, Convict Groper, Convict Rockcod, Grey-banded Cod, Rockcod

Eightbar Grouper, Hyporthodus octofasciatus. Source: John E. Randall / Fish Database of Taiwan. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A brownish to dark brown grouper with 7 whitish bars on body extending onto dorsal fin, a curved white bar from head to top of gill opening, and the pelvic fins and outer half of the soft dorsal and anal fins blackish-brown. 
This species was previously placed in the genus Epinephelus.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Hyporthodus octofasciatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3855

Eightbar Grouper, Hyporthodus octofasciatus (Griffin 1926)

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Offshore atolls and outer continental shelf of Western Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland; also at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-West-central Pacific from South Africa to the Marquesas Islands, north to Japan and south to Australia and New Zealand. Usually inhabits deeper reefs.


Dorsal fin XI, 14-15; Anal fin III, 9. 
Body depth 2.2-2.7 times in SL; head length 2.4-2.5 times in SL; interorbital area distinctly convex, dorsal head profile convex; preopercle angular with enlarged serrations at angle; 0-3 small spines at lower edge of preopecle anterior to angle; distinctly serrate lower edge of subopercle and rear edge of interopercle; convex upper edge of operculum; posterior nostrils 2-3 times larger than anterior nostrils; maxilla reaches to below rear half of eye.


Although Craig & Hasting 2007 consider Western Australian Hyporthodus material to be H. octofasciatusH. septemfasciatus may occur on the west coast.

Similar Species

This species is often misidentified as Epinephelus septemfasciatus.

Species Citation

Epinephelus octofasciatus Griffin 1926, Trans. Proc. N. Z. Inst. 56: 540, pl. 95. Type locality: Arid Island, off north-east coast of Great Barrier Island, Auckland Dist., New Zealand.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Eightbar Grouper, Hyporthodus octofasciatus (Griffin 1926)


AFMA 2010. Norfolk Island Inshore Fishery Data Summary 2006-2009. Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra. 20 pp. (as Epinephelus octofasciatus)

Craig, M.T. & Hastings, P.A. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of the groupers of the subfamily Epinephelinae (Serranidae) with a revised classification of the Epinephelini. Ichthyological Research 54(1): 1-17. Abstract

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. 

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170. (as Epinephelus octofasciatus)

Fry, G.C., Brewer, D.T. & Venables, W.N. 2006. Vulnerability of demersal fishers to commercial fishing: Evidence from a study around a tropical seamount in Papua New Guinea. Fisheries Research 81: 126-141. (as Epinephelus octofasciatus)

Griffin, L.T. 1926. Descriptions of New Zealand fishes. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 56: 538-546.

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 Epinephelus octofasciatus)

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 Epinephelus octofasciatus)

Hobbs, J.-P.A., Ayling, A.M., Choat, J.H., Gilligan, J.J., McDonald, C.A., Neilson, J. & Newman, S.J. 2010. New records of marine fishes illustrate the biogeographic importance of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 2422: 63–68. (as Epinephelus octofasciatus)

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. (as Epinephelus ergastularius)

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 Epinephelus octofasciatus)

Kramer, S.H., Kramer, S.M. & Newman, S.J. 1994. New deep-water fish records from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Pacific Science 48(1): 70-79. (as Epinephelus octofasciatus)

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

Smith W.L. & Craig M.T. 2007 Casting the percomorph net widely: the importance of broad taxonomic sampling in the search for the placement of serranid and percid fishes. Copeia 2007: 35-55. https://doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2007)7[35:CTPNWT]2.0.CO;2

To, A.W.L. & Pollard, D. 2008. Hyporthodus octofasciatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132772A3447316. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T132772A3447316.en. Downloaded on 02 November 2016.

Wakefield, C.B., Newman, S.J., Marriott, R.J., Boddington, D.K. & Fairclough, D.V. 2013. Contrasting life history characteristics of the eightbar grouper, Hyporthodus octofasciatus (Pisces: Epinephelidae), over a large latitudinal range reveals spawning omission at higher latitudes. ICES Journal of Marine Science 70: 485–497. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fst020 Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311152


Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:40–350 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Max Size:130 cm TL

Max Size:Reef associated

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