Pacific goliath grouper

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Pacific goliath grouper
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Serranidae
Genus: Epinephelus
Species: E. quinquefasciatus
Binomial name
Epinephelus quinquefasciatus
(Bocourt, 1868)

The Pacific goliath grouper (Epinephelus quinquefasciatus) is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family. It is related to the Atlantic goliath grouper.

The Pacific goliath grouper is found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths down to 165 ft (50 m). Their range includes the East Pacific from the Gulf of California to Peru.[1]

Young groupers may live in brackish estuaries and canals.

They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths of 8.2 ft (2.5 m) and can weigh as much as 800 lb (363 kg). They are usually around 400 lb when mature. Goliath groupers' inquisitive and generally fearless nature makes them relatively easy prey for spear fishermen. They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning consistently to the same locations, making them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting.

Goliath groupers eat crustaceans, other fish, octopuses, and young sea turtles. Groupers are preyed upon by large fish such as barracuda, moray eels, and large sharks.

Goliath groupers are believed to be protogynous hermaphrodites, with individuals first maturing as females, and only some large adults becoming males. Most groupers follow this pattern, but it has not yet been verified for the goliath.[2] In fact, Bullock et al. found that males could be sexually mature at smaller sizes (around 1150 mm) and younger ages (4–6 years) than females ( around 1225 mm and 6–8 years).[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  Florida State University Coleman and Koenig Research Laboratory
  2. ^ http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/goliathgrouper/goliathgrouper.html Florida Museum of Natural History
  3. ^ Bullock et al. (1992). Age, Growth, and Reproduction of Jewfish Epinephelus itajara in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Fishery Bulletin 90 (2):243-249. Retrieved August 21, 2014.

External links[edit]