Blacksaddled Coralgrouper, also known as Cluespotted Coral Trout, Blacksaddled Coral Trout, Blue-spot Trout, Chinese Footballer, Footballer Cod, Footballer Coral Trout, Oceanic Coral Trout, or Tiger Trout, is a marine fish found in the Indo-Pacific region.
It belongs to the Serranidae family, which includes anthias and sea basses.
This fish lives in coral-rich areas of reefs and is most commonly seen in channels and outer shelf reefs.
Blacksaddled coralgroupers are predators that eat other fish and sometimes crustaceans.
They have a diet that consists of large reef fishes, including groupers, which can cause high levels of ciguatera toxins.
These fish migrate short distances to spawn and form big groups on reefs for this purpose.
Young blacksaddled coralgroupers may imitate pufferfish to avoid predators and live near shallow water reef habitats, particularly around coral rubble.
The young ones eat small fish and invertebrates like crustaceans and squid.
The eggs of blacksaddled coralgrouper float just below the surface while their larvae live in similar habitats as adult groupers.
Blacksaddled coralgrouper are considered excellent table fish but are not safe for reef tanks.
Blacksaddled Coralgrouper Interesting Facts
- Blacksaddled coralgrouper are predators, feeding on large reef fish and sometimes crustaceans, which can result in high levels of ciguatera toxins.
- These fish migrate short distances to form big groups for spawning, with young ones imitating pufferfish to avoid predators.
- Found in the Indo-Pacific region, they live at depths of 4 to 100 meters (13 to 328 feet) near coral-rich reefs.
- Two color varieties exist: pale black-saddled with dark bars and yellow fins, and a darker variety with numerous round blue spots.
Blacksaddled Coralgrouper Habitat
Blacksaddled coralgrouper, scientifically known as Plectropomus laevis, is a fish found in the Indo-Pacific region.
Its habitat ranges from Kenya to Mozambique, east to the Tuamoto Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, and south to Queensland, Australia.
It’s present in most Indian Ocean islands and in the western and central Pacific areas. However, it’s not found in the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf.
This fish lives in marine environments near reefs and can be found at depths of 4 to 100 meters (13 to 328 feet).
It thrives in tropical waters within a latitude range of 30°N to 33°S and a longitude range of 33°E to 134°W.
Some researchers have misidentified this species as Plectropomus maculatus.
Blacksaddled Coralgrouper Physical Characteristics
Size: 33.1 inches (84.0 centimeters)
Blacksaddled coralgrouper typically reaches maturity between 23.6 inches (60.0 centimeters) and larger sizes.
The maximum recorded length of this fish is 49.2 inches (125.0 centimeters), with a common length of 33.1 inches (84.0 centimeters). The heaviest reported weight is 24.2 kg.
This fish has two color varieties:
- Pale black-saddled variety: This variety has a whitish or pale yellowish color with five dark brown to black irregular bars or blotches on its head and body. These markings resemble saddles or wedges, and there may be small blue spots visible as well. Its fins are yellow, along with its snout and jaws.
- Dark variety: This variety can be brown, olive, red, or nearly black in color. It may have faint or no dark bars at all but will have numerous round blue spots on its head and body, as well as on its fins.
Both of these varieties have similar features such as a flat area without scales between their eyes, rounded preopercle (cheekbone) with three large spines pointing down, smooth interopercle (gill cover), equal-sized nostrils, large canine teeth in front of their jaws, elongated bodies that are 2.9 to 3.9 times longer than they are deep, slightly notched tail fins, and long pectoral and pelvic fins measuring about 2 to 3 times the length of their heads.
Blacksaddled Coralgrouper Scientific Classification
|Scientific Name:||Plectropomus laevis|
|Also Known As:||Blacksaddled Coralgrouper, Cluespotted Coral Trout, Blacksaddled Coral Trout, Blue-Spot Trout, Chinese Footballer, Footballer Cod, Footballer Coral Trout, Oceanic Coral Trout, Tiger Trout|
|Conservation Status:||Least Concern|