Brownbarred Rockcod, Cephalopholis boenak (Bloch 1790)

Other Names: Brown-banded Cod, Brown-banded Rockcod, Brown-banded Rock-cod, Brown-barred Rockcod, Chocolate Hind

A Brownbarred Rockcod, Cephalopholis boenak, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Lyle Vail / Lizard Island Research Station. License: CC by Attribution

A brownish to greenish-grey rockcod, usually with 7-8 dark bars on sides, a broad dark submarginal band and a narrow white margin on the dorsal, anal fins, and upper and lower caudal-fin lobes. Juveniles are yellowish on the rear of the body with a white stripe from the snout to the origin of the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Cephalopholis boenak in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Brownbarred Rockcod, Cephalopholis boenak (Bloch 1790)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Coral Bay, WA to Moreton Bay, QLD. Inhabits coastal reefs from East Africa to Palau and New Caledonia, and north to southern Japan.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin IX,  15-17; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 15-17; Lateral line scales 46-51; Longitudinal scale series 86-100; Gill rakers 7-9 + 14-17.
Preopercle rounded, very finely serrate; no enlarged spines at angle, lower edge fleshy; characterized further by having ctenoid scales on body including abdomen; greatest depth of body 2.6-3.1 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins not usually reaching anus, 1.6-2.1 in head length


Brownish to greenish grey with dusky vertical bands over the body. White margins and black sub-margins on the median fins.


Carnivore - feeds mostly on fishes and crustaceans.


Heavily fished in some areas in Southeast Asia, and taken in handline fisheries in Australia. Juveniles are also collected for the aquarium industry.

Species Citation

Serranus boenak Bloch, 1790, Naturgesch. ausländisch. Fische: 43, pl. 226. Type locality: East India. 


Dianne J. Bray

Brownbarred Rockcod, Cephalopholis boenak (Bloch 1790)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311008

Biology:Capable of changing sex

Danger:IUCN Least Concern

Feeding:1-64 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:26 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map