Blacktip Grouper, also known as the Redbanded Grouper, Blacktipped Cod, Black-tipped Rockcod, Footballer Cod, Red-barred Cod, Red-barred Rockcod, Scarlet Rock-cod or Weathered Rock-cod, is a type of marine fish.
It belongs to the Serranidae family, which includes anthias and sea basses. This fish is mostly found in the tropical Indo-Pacific region.
It usually lives in outer reef slopes at depths below 49 feet (15 meters) but can be found as shallow as 13 feet (4 meters) in protected bays and lagoons.
It may also live at depths up to 525 feet (160 meters).
Blacktip grouper is the primary species in its genus, Epinephelus. In Madagascar. It feeds on crabs, fishes, shrimp, and galatheid crabs both day and night.
In Kenya, its diet consists of crabs, stomatopods, fishes, ophiuroids (brittle stars), and octopuses.
In the Red Sea area, blacktip grouper mainly feeds on fish and some crustaceans like crabs.
This fish can be easily caught using methods such as hook-and-line fishing, spearfishing, traps, or gill nets.
However, it’s not reef-safe due to its feeding habits that potentially damage coral reefs.
Blacktip Grouper Interesting Facts
- Blacktip grouper is found in the tropical Indo-Pacific region and lives at depths of 4 to 160 meters.
- This fish’s diet varies depending on location, including crabs, fishes, shrimp, and octopus.
- It can be caught using methods like hook-and-line fishing but is not considered reef safe due to its feeding habits.
- Blacktip grouper displays unique physical characteristics and can change its gender. Smaller fish are both male and female simultaneously.
Blacktip Grouper Habitat
Blacktip grouper can be found in the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea to South Africa and as far east as the Pitcairn Group.
It’s also present from Japan and Korea in the north, down to the Arafura Sea, southern Queensland (Australia), and Lord Howe Island.
This fish lives in marine and brackish environments near reefs with a depth range of 4 to 160 meters, but it’s usually found between 20 to 45 meters deep.
Blacktip grouper thrives in tropical areas between 36°N to 35°S latitude and 22°E to 124°W longitude.
Blacktip Grouper Physical Characteristics
Size: 8.7 inches (22 centimeters)
The blacktip grouper is a marine fish with a maximum length of 40 cm (22 inches) and a common length of 22 cm (8.7 inches). It can weigh up to 2 kg.
Its body is relatively deep, and its head has a flat area between the eyes and a curved profile.
This fish’s snout is moderately long, and it has rounded preopercles (bone near gills) with serrated edges.
The operculum (gill cover) has a straight upper edge, and the lower jaw contains 2 to 4 rows of teeth.
The first gill arch has 6 to 8 rakers on top and 15 to 17 on the bottom.
There are 10 to 16 pyloric caeca (small digestive organs), and its tail fin is slight to moderately rounded.
Blacktip grouper’s scales are ctenoid (comb-like) except for some areas that have smooth cycloid scales.
The color of this fish varies from pale greenish-grey to reddish-yellow or even scarlet.
It may have faint dark bars on its body, along with a checkered pattern formed by its scales’ pale centers and dark edges.
The dorsal fin features black triangular parts with light spots behind each spine tip.
Blacktip Grouper Reproduction
Blacktip grouper fish have unique reproductive behavior. It can change its gender.
Smaller fish in a group are both male and female at the same time. The biggest fish often stop being female and only reproduce as males.
Blacktip Grouper Scientific Classification
|Scientific Name:||Epinephelus fasciatus|
|Also Known As:||Blacktip Grouper, Redbanded Grouper, Blacktipped Cod, Black-tipped Rockcod, Footballer Cod, Red-barred Cod, Red-barred Rockcod, Scarlet Rock-cod, Weathered Rock-cod|
|Conservation Status:||Least Concern|