Malabar grouper

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Malabar grouper
UShaka Sea World 1098.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Serranidae
Genus: Epinephelus
Species: 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.[2]

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][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.


Malabar grouper are voracious predators, they feed on fish, crustaceans, and occasionally, cephalopods.[8]


As most fish, the Malabar grouper harbours a variety of parasites, including the diplectanid monogenean Pseudorhabdosynochus manifestus.[9]


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


  1. ^ Cornish, A. (Grouper & Wrasse Specialist Group) 2006. Epinephelus malabaricus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <>. Downloaded on 19 October 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  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. ^ 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. ^ Lieske, E. and R. Myers, 1994. Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p.
  9. ^ 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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