Queensland Groper, Epinephelus lanceolatus (Bloch 1790)


Other Names: Giant Grouper, Groper, Grouper, Queensland Grouper

A Queensland Groper, Epinephelus lanceolatus, at Main Beach South Stradbroke Island, Queensland, August 2017. Source: Deb Aston / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:

This huge robust grouper is the largest bony reef-dwelling fish in the world. Prior to its listing as a protected species in the early 1980s, the Queensland Groper was much sought after by line and spearfishers in New South Wales.

Adults are greyish-brown with a mottled pattern and darker fins, while small secretive juveniles are yellow with dark broad irregular bars and irregular dark spots on the fins. Large individuals often lie motionless on the bottom or hover in mid-water.

Video of a large Queensland Grouper at the Gold Coast Seaway - by Ian Banks

Video of Queensland Grouper


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Epinephelus lanceolatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Jan 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/4672

Queensland Groper, Epinephelus lanceolatus (Bloch 1790)

More Info


Distribution

Rottnest Island through north-western Australia, including Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, to Woy Woy, New South Wales including reefs in the Coral Sea; also Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Reserve, in the Tasman Sea. The species has also been reported from Younghusband Peninsula, South Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

This solitary species inhabits shallow inshore waters, including rocky areas, caves and wrecks, harbours, estuaries, lagoons and seaward reefs. 

Feeding

Feeds on spiny lobsters, fishes, including small sharks and rays, and juvenile sea turtles and crustaceans.

Biology

May form spawning aggregations.

Fisheries

Commonly found in the live fish trade in Asia. Considered to be under threat from fishing pressure in most parts of its range. Fish reared in aquaculture operations are increasingly being sold in the live fish trade.

Conservation

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

No species of the genus Epinephelus greater in length than 120 cm may be taken in the Northern Territory.

Protected species in Queensland. A "no take" species in Queensland

Protected Species in NSW

Protected Species in WA.

Remarks

There have been unconfirmed reports of fatal attacks on humans, and the flesh of large individuals may contain ciguatera.

Species Citation

Holocentrus lanceolatus Bloch, 1790, Naturg. ausländ. Fische: 4: 92, pl. 262(1). Type locality: East Indies.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2019

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Catalog of Fishes

Queensland Groper, Epinephelus lanceolatus (Bloch 1790)

References


AFMA 2010. Norfolk Island Inshore Fishery Data Summary 2006-2009. Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Canberra. 20 pp.

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

Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann, 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: University of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research.

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.

Bloch, M.E. 1790. Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. Berlin : J. Morino Vol. 4 128 pp. pls 217-252.

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 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.

Fennessy, S., Pollard, D.A. & Samoilys, M. 2018. Epinephelus lanceolatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T7858A100465809. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T7858A100465809.en. Downloaded on 03 December 2019.

Francis, M.P., C.J. Worthington, P. Saul & K.D. Clements. 1999. New and rare tropical and subtropical fishes from northern New Zealand. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 33:571-586.

Gill, A.C. 2014. Serranus magnificus Macleay 1882, a junior synonym of Epinephelus lanceolatus (Bloch 1790) (Teleostei: Serranidae). Zootaxa 3857: 599-600.

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93 in Hutchings, P. (ed.). Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 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 2069-2790 pp.

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)

Johnson, J.W. & Gill, A.C. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria. Gulf of Carpentaria Scientific Study Report. Geography Monograph Series. Brisbane: Royal Geographic Society of Queensland. pp. 239-260

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Families Serranidae, Callanthiidae. pp. 528-548 figs 469-485 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp.

Lau, P.P.F. & Li, L.W.H. 2000. Identification Guide to Fishes in the Live Seafood Trade of the Asia-Pacific Region. WWF Hong Kong and Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Hong Kong. 137 pp.

Lee, C. & Sadovy, Y. 1998. A taste for live fish: Hong Kong’s Live Reef Fish Market. Naga (The ICLARM Quarterly) April-June, 1998: 38-42.

Prokop, F. 2002. Australian Fish Guide. Croydon South, Victoria : Australian Fishing Network 256 pp.

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.

Roberts, C.D. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Polyprionidae, Serranidae and Callanthiidae. pp. 534-549 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

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

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37311061

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Danger:Potentially dangerous

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:270 cm TL; 400 kg

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CAAB distribution map