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Free Content A Review of the Groupers (Pisces: Serranidae: Epinephelinae) of the Red Sea, with Description of a New Species of Cephalopholis

The following 22 groupers (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) occur in the Red Sea: Aethaloperca rogaa, Anyperodon leucogrammicus, Cephalopholis argus, C. hemistiktos, C. miniata, C. oligosticta new species, C. sexmaculata, Epinephelus areolatus, E. chlorostigma, E. epistictus, E. fasciatus, E. fuscoguttatus, E. latifasciatus, E. malabaricus, E. microdon, E. morrhua, E. stoliczkae, E. summana, E. tauvina, Plectropomus maculatus, P. truncatus, and Variola louti. C. oligosticta and E. summana are endemic to the Red Sea (summana has a close relative, E. ongus, from elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific). C. hemistiktos and E. stoliczkae are known only from the seas around the Arabian Peninsula; C. hemistiktos appears to be subspecifically different in the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf. The remaining species are wide-ranging in the Indo-Pacific.

A rare giant serranid fish, probably Promicrops lanceolatus, has been taken in the Red Sea, but we have no specimens to confirm the identification.

Records of Cephalopholis boenack, Epinephelus caeruleopunctatus, and E. merra from the Red Sea appear to be in error.

The Red Sea record of Epinephelus hexagonatus by Klunzinger (1870) may be a misidentification of E. quoyanus (E. gilberti and E. megachir are junior synonyms). Although E. quoyanus might be expected from the Red Sea we withhold formal reporting of it until specimens are examined.

A key to the Red Sea groupers is presented, and for each species we give the primary synonyms, diagnosis, illustration, and remarks on distribution, habitat, size, and location of types.

C. oligosticta is orange-red with scattered small blue spots. It most resembles C. miniata, differing in having 60–71 lateral-line scales (compared to 47–54 for miniata), longer pelvic fins (1.6–1.95 in head), longer dorsal spines (2.9–3.15 in head), a serrate ventral preopercular margin, and fewer blue spots. It is usually found in dead reef areas at depths greater than 25 m.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1983

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