Coral Rockcod, Cephalopholis miniata (Forsskal 1755)

Other Names: Coral Cod, Coral Hind, Coral Rock-cod, Coral Trout, Round-tailed Trout, Vermillion Seabass

A Coral Rockcod, Cephalopholis miniata, at Madang, Papua New Guinea. Source: Jan Messersmith / License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

An orange-red to reddish-brown rockcod covered in bright blue spots that are smaller than pupil-size. Juveniles are orange to yellow with scattered faint blue spots. Coral Rockcod may have irregular oblique paler bars on sides. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Cephalopholis miniata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Coral Rockcod, Cephalopholis miniata (Forsskal 1755)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from the Houtmans Abrolhos Islands, WA to Wigram Island, NT and the northern Great Barrier Reef to Moreton Bay, QLD; also Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef, and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to South Africa and eastward to the Line Islands, including most islands in the Indian and west-central Pacific oceans.
Inhabits clear coastal and offshore coral reefs, often in exposed rather than protected areas.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin IX, 14-16; Anal fin III, 8-9 (rarely 8); Pectoral fin 17-18 (often 18); Gill rakers 7-9 + 13-15; Lateral line scales 47-55; Scales in longitudinal series 94-114. 
Body depth 2.65-3.05 in SL; head length 2.4-2.65 in SL;maxilla extending to or posterior to rear of orbit; ventral margin of preopercle smooth; 5th - 8th dorsal-fin spines longest, 3.0-3.6 in head length; pectoral fins 1.45-1.75 in head length; pelvic fins not reaching anus, 1.9-2.3 in head length.


Body orange-red to reddish brown with numerous bright blue spots that are smaller than pupil-size covering the head, body and median fins. Coral Rockcod may have irregular oblique paler bars on sides. Juveniles are orange to yellow with scattered faint blue spots.


Carnivore - feeds on fishes mostly, and crustaceans.


A protogynous hermaphrodite, changing sex from female to male. A dominant male may control a small harem of up to 12 females


Cephalopholis is from the Greek kephale, meaning 'head' and pholis, meaning 'scale', in reference to the fact that the front of the snout up to the nostrils lacks scalesThe specific name miniata is from Latin meaning 'red coloured' in reference to the overall coloration of this species.

Species Citation

Perca miniata Forsskål, 1775, Descriptiones animalium: 41. Type locality: Red Sea.


Dianne J. Bray

Coral Rockcod, Cephalopholis miniata (Forsskal 1755)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311083

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-150 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:50 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map