Brownspotted Grouper, Epinephelus chlorostigma (Valenciennes 1828)

Other Names: Brown Spotted Reef Cod, Brown-spotted Grouper, Brownspotted Rockcod, Coral Grouper, Honeycomb Cod

A Coral Grouper, Epinephelus chlorostigma, in the Komodo Marine Park, Indonesia, May 2014. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale grouper covered in a dense matrix of small brown spots that are absent from the lower part of the head, chest and lower abdomen. This pattern is sometimes overlain with a transient pattern of  3-4 rows of large round dark spots.

Video of a juvenile Coral Grouper at Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Epinephelus chlorostigma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2021,

Brownspotted Grouper, Epinephelus chlorostigma (Valenciennes 1828)

More Info


Occurs only on offshore reefs such as Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia. Inhabits seagrass and rubble areas near corals reefs at depths to 200 m.


Dorsal fin XI, 16-18; Anal fin III, 8; Scales in longitudinal series 96-125; yloric caeca 26-52. 
Greatest body depth 2.8-3.3 in SL; interorbital slightly convex; preopercle angle rounded, 4-7 enlarged serrae at angle below a slight notch; upper edge of operculum straight; posterior nostril not noticeably larger than anterior nostril; maxilla reaches about to vertical at rear edge of eye; scaly maxilla, low step on posterior part of ventral edge; 2-4 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw, inner ones about twice the size of outer teeth.
Caudal fin truncate to slightly emarginate; pelvic fins 1.7-2.4 in head length.
Scales ctenoid, cycloid on nape, thorax, ventral parts of abdomen; body with auxiliary scales; 


Carnivore - feeds on small fishes and crustaceans (mainly stomatopods and crabs).

Species Citation

Serranus chlorostigma Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1828, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 2: 352. Type locality: Seychelles. 


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Brownspotted Grouper, Epinephelus chlorostigma (Valenciennes 1828)


Andrawartha, B. & Tuma, D. 2007. Fil-o-Fish Australia, Recrational & Commercial Fish Handbook. Balnarring, Victoria : Candlelight Publishing 623 pp.

Boulenger, G.A. 1895. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the perciform fishes. London : British Museum Vol. 1 394 pp. 15 pls.

Choat, J.H., Craig, M.T., Fennessy, S., Ferreira, B., Bertoncini, A.A., Robinson, J. & Rocha, L. 2008. Epinephelus chlorostigma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Downloaded on 17 April 2015

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

Moussac. G. de. 1986. Evidence of protogynous hermaphroditism of Epinephelus chlorostigma (Valenciennes, 1828) in Seychelles (Pisces, Serranidae). Cybium 10(3): 249-262.

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 

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1828. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 2 xxi, 2 + 490 pp., pls 9-40.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311059


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:4–280 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:80 cm TL, 7 kg

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map