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Serranidae
SEA BASSES
Groupers and Fairy basslets; Groupers; Sand perches

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Cephalopholis acanthistius
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Cephalopholis acanthistius
Cephalopholis acanthistius
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Cephalopholis acanthistius

Epinephelus exsul
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus exsul
Epinephelus exsul
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus exsul

Epinephelus analogus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus analogus
Epinephelus cifuentesi
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus cifuentesi

Epinephelus analogus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus analogus
Epinephelus itajara
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus itajara

Epinephelus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus
Epinephelus analogus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus analogus

Epinephelus itajara
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus itajara
Epinephelus niphobles
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus niphobles

Epinephelus clippertonensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus clippertonensis
Epinephelus clippertonensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Epinephelus clippertonensis

Serranidae
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Serranidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • body robust, compressed
  • 1d
  • mouth large; top jaw bone exposed
  • 3 opercular spines
  • ll: to tail fin base
FAMILY SERRANIDAE

GROUPERS, BACALAOS, BASSLETS, CABRILLAS, CAMOTILLOS, CONEYS, GRASBYS, HAMLETS, HINDS, LEATHER BASSES, REEF-BASSES, SAND-BASSES, SAND-PERCHES, SEA BASSES, SERRANOS, SOAPFISHES, SPLITFIN BASSES, THREADFIN BASSES

Although most seerranids are bass-like in appearance, there is considerable diversity of form and habits. They range in size from the collosal (to 270cm and over 400kg) Epinephelus lanceolatus to tiny fishes of the genus Plectranthias, which are fully grown at 3-4 cm. Although both of these examples are from the Indo-W. Pacific region, the contrast is appropriate for our area. Here the largest species is Epinephelus itajara (240cm and 370kg) and the smallest is Serranus socorroensis (8cm). Because of their great diversity it is difficult to define the Serranidae in terms of external characteristics. Most species have three spines on the gill cover (operculum), and the posterior margin of preopercle is almost always serrate or has small spines. The maxilla (rear bone of the upper jaw) is fully exposed on the cheek when the mouth is closed; the mouth is large and there is more than one row of teeth on the jaws. The scales are small and usually rough or secondarily smooth.

Groupers and their relatives comprise one of the major groups of predatory fishes found on reefs. They feed on a wide variety of fishes and invertebrates (frequently crustaceans). Most species live on or near the bottom, but members of the genera Hemanthias and Paranthias form large mid-water aggregations and feed on plankton. Serranids are hermaphroditic, with adult females capable of transformation to the male sex. Individual of some species (e.g. of Serranus) have both male and female organs which can function at the same time. Some groupers form aggregations at certain times of the year to engage in nocturnal spawning.

The larger species are good eating and are frequently seen in markets throughout the region.This large family of reef fishes is represented circumglobally by 68 genera and nearly 450 species that occur in tropical to temperate waters. In our region there are 54 shallow water species from 16 genera; all are endemics except two neotropical species of Epinephelus, E. itajara and E. mystacinus.


References
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Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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