Maori Rockcod, Epinephelus undulatostriatus (Peters 1866)

Other Names: Maori Cod, Maori Groper, Maori Grouper, Maori Rock Cod, Maori Rock-cod, Red-speckled Rock Cod, Red-speckled Rockcod, Red-speckled Rock-cod, Scribbled Rockcod, Scribbled Rock-cod

A Maori Rockcod, Epinephelus undulatostriatus, on a barrel sponge at Fly Point, Port Stephens, New South Wales. Source: Richard Ling / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A brownish rockcod with fine golden-brown spots scattered on the head, similar spots in irregular wavy rows on the body, an orange streak just above the maxillary bone (upper jaw), and yellow fin margins. Juveniles have fine stripes along the sides and a broad black stripe along the back and dorsal-fin base. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Epinephelus undulatostriatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Maori Rockcod, Epinephelus undulatostriatus (Peters 1866)

More Info


Endemic to eastern Australia, from One Tree Island, Southern Queensland, to at least Batemans Bay, New South Wales; also in the Lord Howe Island region. (Possibly also Kangaroo Island, South Australia).


Dorsal fin XI, 15-17; Anal fin III, 8. Interorbital area convex, Almost straight dorsal profile; preopercle sub angular, serrae slightly enlarged; upper edge of the operculum almost straight; nostrils subequal; maxilla reaches to or slightly beyond vertical at posterior edge of the eye. Pectoral fins fleshy; pelvic fins not reaching anus, except in small individuals. Pyloric caeca 11. 


Brownish body, covered with close-set wavy longitudinal brownish orange, golden brown or reddish brown stripes; some stripes broken into series of small spots; pale greyish brown head, covered with small spots same as on the body; orange-brown maxillary streak; pale fin rays, with small brown spots, inter-radial membranes dark brown; narrow yellow margins on median fins; pectoral fins diffusely yellow distally.


Taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries in eastern Australlia.

Species Citation

Serranus undulatostriatus Peters 1866, Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1866: 518. Type locality: Sydney, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Maori Rockcod, Epinephelus undulatostriatus (Peters 1866)


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

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp. 

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. 

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. 

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762 

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) 

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. 

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

Macleay, W.J. 1878. Descriptions of some new fishes from Port Jackson and King George's Sound. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 3(1): 33-37 pls 2-5 (as Serranus guttulatus)

Peters, W.C.H. 1866. Mittheilung über Fische. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1866: 509-526 figs 1-4 

Pollard, D., Rhodes, K. & Russell, B. 2008. Epinephelus undulatostriatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T64408A12777836. Downloaded on 08 October 2017.

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 

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2 pp. + appendices Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311086

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:10-80 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:61 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map