Malabar grouper

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Malabar grouper
Epinephelus malabaricus in UShaka Sea World 1098.jpg
Epinephelus malabaricus in uShaka Marine World
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Serranidae
Subfamily: Epinephelinae
Genus: Epinephelus
E. malabaricus
Binomial name
Epinephelus malabaricus
(Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

The Malabar grouper or greasy grouper, Epinephelus malabaricus, is a species of marine fish in the family Serranidae.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Malabar grouper is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific area from the eastern coast of Africa to the Tonga Islands, Red Sea included.[3][1]> It has also been recorded in the Levantine Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, as a Lessespian migrant through the Suez Canal, although it is still rather rare in the Mediterranean.[4] This grouper lives in various habitats, such as lagoons, mangroves, coral and rocky reefs, sandy and muddy bottom areas,[5] between 2 and 150 m deep.[6] The juveniles prefers lagoon or brackish areas.[5]


The Malabar grouper can reach a length up to 234 cm (92 in), but average size is usually around 100 cm (39 in).[7] It has a light grey to light brownish background color, with a number of dark brown spots randomly scattered, which increase in number with age. The body has also a various number of brown diagonal stripes. Younger fish have a number of wide, broken vertical bands of darker shade across their bodies, but in maturity they seem to become a uniform darker colour. Young fish have numerous brown spots. The tail fin is rounded.[8]


Epinephelus malabaricus is a protogynous hermaphrodite, as these fishes at some point in their lifespan change sex from female to male.[6] Malabar grouper are voracious predators, they feed on fish, crustaceans, and occasionally, cephalopods.[9]


As most fish, the Malabar grouper harbours a variety of parasites, including the diplectanid monogeneans Pseudorhabdosynochus manifestus, P. maaensis, P. malabaricus, P. manipulus, P. marcellus, and P. maternus.[10]


Malabar groupers are harvested for food, sport, and commercially; some are grown in aquaculture.



  1. ^ a b Samoilys, M.; Amorim, P.; Choat, J.H.; et al. (2018). "Epinephelus malabaricus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T61338A46627320. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  2. ^ Bailly N, ed. (2008). "Epinephelus malabaricus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)". FishBase. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Epinephelus malabaricus" in FishBase. February 2018 version.
  4. ^ "Epinephelus malabaricus". CIESM Atlas of Exotic Fishes in the Mediterranean Sea. CIESM. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b van der Elst, R.P. and F. Adkin (eds.), 1991. Marine linefish: priority species and research objectives in southern Africa. Oceanogr. Res. Inst., Spec. Publ. No.1. 132 p.
  6. ^ a b Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p.
  7. ^ Fischer, W., I. Sousa, C. Silva, A. de Freitas, J.M. Poutiers, W. Schneider, T.C. Borges, J.P. Feral and A. Massinga, 1990. Fichas FAO de identificaçío de espécies para actividades de pesca. Guía de campo das espécies comerciais marinhas e de águas salobras de Moçambique. Publicaçao preparada em collaboraçao com o Instituto de Investigaçao Pesquiera de Moçambique, com financiamento do Projecto PNUD/FAO MOZ/86/030 e de NORAD. Roma, FAO. 1990. 424 p.
  8. ^ Atlas of Exotic Species in the Mediterranean, CIESM - Mediterranean Science Commission.
  9. ^ Lieske, E. and R. Myers, 1994. Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Harper Collins Publishers, 400 p.
  10. ^ Justine, Jean-Lou, and Aude Sigura. "Monogeneans of the malabar grouper Epinephelus malabaricus (Perciformes, Serranidae) off New Caledonia, with a description of six new species of Pseudorhabdosynochus (Monogenea: Diplectanidae)." Zootaxa 1543 (2007): 1-44. Abstract

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