Redmouth Rockcod, Aethaloperca rogaa (Forsskål 1775)

Other Names: Red-flushed Cod, Red-flushed Rockcod, Red-flushed Rock-cod, Redmouth Groper, Redmouth Grouper

A Redmouth Rockcod, Aethaloperca rogaa, at Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A deep-bodied pale brown to black grouper, with a pale pink to crimson mouth. Small juveniles have a white border on the caudal fin, and mimic Centropyge angelfishes.
In a genetic study of epinepheline groupers, Ma & Craig (2018) concluded that this species belongs in the genus Cephalopholis

Video of Redmouth Grouper accompanying Smalltooth Emperor (Lethrinus microdon) and Bluefin Trevally (Caranx melampygus) in pack-hunting behaviour at dusk in the Philippines.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Aethaloperca rogaa in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Redmouth Rockcod, Aethaloperca rogaa (Forsskål 1775)

More Info


Rowley Shoals, North Reef, and the Kimberley region, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to about Wheeler Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.


Dorsal fin IX, 17-18; Anal fin III, 8-9; Caudal fin branched rays 8+7, procurrent rays 9+8.
Body relatively deep, greatest depth 2.1-2.4 in SL; width 2.3-2.8 times in depth; head length 2.5-2.7 times in SL; interorbital area convex; dorsal head profile steep, straight or slightly concave along the snout and distinctly convex from eye to dorsal fin; preorbital depth 6.5-9.2 times in HL; preopercle finely serrate with fleshy lower edge; subopercle and interopercle smooth or with minute serrae; opercle with three flat spines, middle one closer to the lower spine; upper edge of operculum convex; posterior nostril round or oval; maxilla reaches past eye; ventro-posterior corner of maxilla with distinct bony protuberance; slender supramaxilla; small canine at front of jaws, absent elsewhere; 2-4 rows of small slender teeth at side of lower jaw; palatine teeth present; body scales ctenoid, with auxiliary scales.

Pectoral fins asymmetrical with well-developed scaly flap of skin joining upper pectoral-fin rays to body, fifth or sixth rays longest; pelvic fins subequal to pectoral fins, reaching to or beyond anus; caudal fin truncate.


Pale brown to black, occasionally overlain with orange, and a pale pink to crimson mouth. Juveniles have a white border on the caudal fin.


Feeds mainly on small fishes and crustaceans, including stomatopods.


Caught for the live reef fish trade in parts of its range.


Small juveniles mimic the Pearlscale Angelfish, Centropyge vrolikii, and the Midnight Angelfish, Centropyge nox.

Species Citation

Perca rogaa Forsskål 1775, Descriptiones Animalium: 38. Type locality: Jeddah, Red Sea


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Redmouth Rockcod, Aethaloperca rogaa (Forsskål 1775)


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

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp. 

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

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., 70 pls.  

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.  

Forsskål, P. 1775. Descriptiones Animalium Avium, Amphibiorum, Piscium, Insectorum, Vermium; quæ in Itinere Orientali observavit Petrus Forskål. Post Mortem Auctoris edidit Carsten Niebuhr. Adjuncta est Materia Medica Kakirina atque Tabula Maris Rubri Geographica. Hauniæ : Mölleri 1-19, i-xxxiv, 164 pp., 1 map. 

Fowler, H.W. 1904. A collection of fishes from Sumatra. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 2 12(4): 495-560 pls 1-21 

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.

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. 

Heemstra, P.C., Samoilys, M., Cornish, A. & Cabanban, A.S. 2008. Aethaloperca rogaa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T132814A3458443. Downloaded on 31 July 2018.

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 

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

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

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

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 

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311134

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:3-60 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:60 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map