Epinephelus diacanthus

Epinephelus diacanthus, Valenciennes 1828

Languages: English

Overview

Common and Local Names

English : Six barred reef cod, Spiny cheek grouper

West coast of India

East coast of India

Marathi : Hekaru, Gobra

Tamil : Kalava

Konkani : Gobri

Kannada : Guri

Malayalam : Kalawa, Varayan kalawa

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Synonyms

Epinephelus dayi Bleeker, 1874 (JS

Serranus salmonides Kossmann and Rauber, 1876

Epinephelus diacanthus Valenciennes, 1828 (SS)

Epinephelus fasciatomaculatus Bleeker, 1878 

Serranus diacanthus Valenciennes, 1828 (SS)

Serranus diacanthus Day, 1888 

Serranus sexfasciatus non Valenciennes, 1828 (MN)

Epinephelus diacanthus Boulenger, 1895

Serranus nebulosus Richardson, 1846 

Epinephelus diacanthus Jordan and Evermann, 1902

Serranus trimaculatus Bleeker, 1858 

Epinephelus diacanthus Jordan and Seale, 1907

Serranus sexfasciatus Gunther, 1859 

Epinephelus diacanthus Jordan and Richardson, 1908

Serranus diacanthus Kner, 1867 

Epinephelus diacanthus M. Weber, 1913

Serranus sexfasciatus Day, 1865 

Serranus diacanthus Hora, 1924

Serranus fasciatomaculatus Peters, 1865 

Epinephelus diacanthus Barnard, 1927

Epinephelus diacanthus Bleeker, 1876  

Epinephelus diacanthus Fowler, 1928

JS= Junior synonym, SS= Senior synonym, MN= Misapplied name

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Original Published Description

Serranus diacanthus Valenciennes in Cuv. and Vat., 1828:319 (type locality: Malabar coast, Kerala, India)

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Key to Species

From Talwar and Kacker, 1984

Caught fin subtruncate, truncate or emrginate.........

Depth of body 2.8 to 3.4 times in standard length....

Dorsal fin with 14 to 17 soft rays.....

Anal fin with 8 soft rays....

Middle opercular spine nearer to lower than to upper spine....

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Description

Behaviour

Benthic, shoaling

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Diagnostic Description

From Talwar & Kacker (1984) and Heemstra & Randall (1993)

A medium size serranid fish with body depth contained 2.8 to 3.5 times in standard length (for fish 10 to 34 cm standard length). Head large, its length contained 2.2 to 2.4 times in standard length, interorbital region flat or slightly convex, the dorsal profile convex. Preopercle with 1 to 5 prominent spines at the angle. Upper edge of operculum straight or slightly convex, operculum with 3 flat spines the middle spine nearer to lower than upper one. Nostrils subequal, anterior nostrils tubular, the margin usually with a large, bilobed flap of skin. Maxilla reaches to or almost to vertical at rear edge of eye, the lower edge smoothly curved, midlateral part of lower jaw with 2 rows of short, subequal teeth, a pair of canines on each side of symphysis in each jaw. Gill rakers 8 to 10 on upper limb, 15 to 17 on lower limb, numerous bony plates on sides of gill arches.  Caudal-peduncle depth contained 3.7 to 4.7 times in head length. Lateral-body scales ctenoid, with auxiliary scales in adults, lateral-line scales 52 to 60, lateral-scale series 103 to 121. Pyloric caeca 7 or 8.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Genetics

Taxonomic relationship among grouper species was stuied by RAPD fingerprinting from southeast and southwest  coast of India. This study concluded that Epinephelus diacanthus  was most distantly related to E. malabaricus and E. bleekeri.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Growth

Premalatha  (1989) estimated length-weight relationship for th females of E. diacanthus as log W = - 1.3056 + 2 .6117 log L based on specimens ranging from 20 to 55 cm. Manojkumar (2005) reported  length weight relationship of the E. diacanthus is Log W = - 4.03 + 2.8203 Log L. The fish attained a length of 244, 372, 439, 474 and 492 mm at the completion of 1 to 5 years respectively. L is 512 mm and K=0.65 y-' .

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Morphology

Dorsal fin with 11 spines and 15 to 17 rays, the third or fourth spine longest, its length contained 2.8 to 3.6 times in head length and longer than longest ray, the interspinous membranes incised. Anal fin with 3spines and 8 rays. Pectoral fins with 17 to 20 rays, pectoral-fin length contained 1.7 to 2.1 times in head length. Pelvic fins end well short of anus, their length contained 2.0 to 2.6 times in head length. Caudal fin usually rounded or convex. Body pale greyish brown, usually with 5 dark vertical bars broader than interspaces, 4 below dorsal fin and fifth (faintest) on peduncle, ventral part of head and body often pink or reddish; dark maxillary streak continues faintly to lower edge of preopercle, fins dusky grey without or sometimes spotted with darker color.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Size

Max 55 cm

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Ecology and Distribution

Distribution

E. diacanthus occurs on the continental shelf of the northern Indian Ocean from the Gulf of Aden to Sri Lanka and Madras, India. Not known from the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Habitat

Occurs over muddy sand or mud substrata and caught in depths of 63 to 100 m off the Kerala coast.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Life Expectancy

The natural mortality of E. diacanthus was calculated to be 1.10 in India (Chakraborty and Vidyasagar 1996).

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Reproduction

E. diacanthus is protogynus hermaphrodite fish with female changes sex into male. Studies on Taiwan population of E. diacanthus by Chen et al., 1980 reported that changes in sex occurs at the two-three years age class and males becomes dominant after 4 year age class. Fecundity of E. diacanthus ranged from 64,000 to 233,000 ova. Bapat et al. (1982) observed mature and spent adults in the month of September at north west coast of India. Premalatha (1989) determined spawning season of this species as May-June.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Trophic Strategy

Highly carnivorus, Tertiary consumer

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Prey

Ontogenic diet shifts with size were reported in E. diacanthus (Tessy, 1994). Abdurahiman et al. (2010) reported that Small (10 to 18 cm) and Medium (18 to 26 cm) size E. diacanthus mainly fed on crabs and squilla, while large (22 to 30 cm) fish fed on teleost fishes, penaeid shrimps and crabs.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Conservation

Conservation Status

Near threatened (NT) by IUCN Grouper and Wrasse specialist group. 

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Procedures

According to Sivakami and Seetha (2006) capture of  undersized E. diacanthus  including juveniles using smaller mesh sizes at the cod end of trawlers is  detrimental to the sustainability of the fishery. Because of the unique life history pattern, conventional management methods are unsuitable to protect these species. It is felt that alternate measures such as establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are to be demarcated after making necessary surveys to locate the nursery grounds of these fishes along the west coast of India.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Threats

Harmless to human. Major threats to this species is trawl fishery.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Trends

The multi-day trawl fishery along Dakshina Kannada Coast (Karnataka, India) of E. diacanthus consisted exclusively of small juveniles (max catch size was 23.5 cm TL) from 30 to 60 m depth, which comprised of the 0-year age class (Zacharia et al. 1995). According to Manojkumar (2005) they contributed to 4 % of the trawl landings with an annual average catch of 2,727 t during 1992 to 2002. Their exploitation has registered a sharp increase with highest catch of over 5,000t in 1996 and 2002. Sivakami and Seetha (2006) recorded discard of 77 tones of juvenile (size range 88-140 mm) caught as bycatch in shrimp trawls at Neendakara, Quilon, south west coast of India.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Life History

Diseases

A Digenean parasite, Prosorhynchus epinepheli Yamaguti, 1939 was repoprted from E. diacanthus from India (Hafeezullah and Siddiqi, 1970).  Proctotrematoides diacanthi and Helicometrina nimia Linton, 1910 was reported from E. diacanthus from Pakistan marine waters by Zaidi and Khan (1977) and Bilqees (1981). 

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Fishery Information

Fishery information

Groupers contributed to 4 % of the trawl landings with an annual average catch of 2,727 t during 1992 to 2002. Their exploitation has registered a sharp increase with highest catch of over 5,000t in 1996 and 2002. E. diacanthus is an important species, which constitutes nearly 90 % of the groupers, landed along Indian coast . E. diacanthus is an important component of demersal fishery off Kerala coast in 63-100 m depth (Manojkumar 2005).  Tessy (1994) and Premalatha (1989) had noticed the availability of juveniles of E. diacanthus off southwest coast of India during September-October. James et al. (1996) reported that in the Gulf of Mannar, Tamilnadu where bottom is rocky and rich in coral reefs,  hooks and line and gill nets use over a depth of 35 to 60 m. Among the grouper species caught in this region 14% catch comprises of E. diacanthus.  Caught by trawls, hand lines, bottom set gill nets and in Dol nets at Mumbai region.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

Uses

Excellent food fish, commonly occured in markets mainly juveniles. Marketed fresh, frozen. Also used as trash fish in fish meal plants, ingedients for poultry feed, manures.

Author(s): Sanaye, Sushant
Rights holder(s): Sanaye, Sushant

References

Bilqees, F. M. (1981).  Digenetic Trematodes Fishes of Karachi Coast.
Chakraborty, S. K. (1994).  Age, growth, mortality and stock assessment of Epinephelus diacanthus (Valenciennes) from Bombay waters. CMFRI Bulletine.
Chakraborty, S. K., & Vidyasagar K. D. (1996).  Growth, mortality and stock assessment of two perches -- moontail bull's eye Priacanthus hamrur (Perciformes/Pricanthidae) and thornycheek grouper Epinephelus diacanthus (Perciformes/Serranidae) from Bombay waters. Indian journal of marine sciences. 25(4), 312-315.
Chen, C. P., Hsieh H. L., & chang K. H. (1980).  Some aspects of the sex change and reproductive biology of the grouper, Epinephelus diacanthus (Cuvier et Valenciensis). Bulletin of the Institute of Zoology Academia Sinica. 19, 11-17.
Hafeezullah, M., & Siddiqi A. H. (1970).  Digenetic trematodes of marine fishes of India. Part I. Bucephalidae and Cryptogonimidae. Indian Journal of Helminthology. 22, 1-22.
Heemstra, P. C., & Randall J. E. (1993).  FAO species catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (Family Serranidae, Subfamily Epi- Authors nephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date.. FAO Fisheries Synopsis. 125, 382. Rome: FAO, Rome .
Muraleedharan, V., Antony K. P., Perigreen P. A., & Gopakumar K. (1996).  Utilization of unconventional fish resources for surimi preparation. Workshop on Scientific Results of FORV Sagar Sampada, Cochin (India), 15-17 Feb 1994. 539-543. Cochin, India: DEPARTMENT OF OCEAN DEVELOPMENT, NEW DELHI (INDIA).
Rao, A. C., & Krishnan L. (2009).  Studies on the reproductive biology of the female spiny cheek grouper, Epinephelus diacanthus (Valenciennes, 1828). Indian Journal of Fisheries. 56(2), 87-94.
Sivakami, S., & Seetha P. K. (2006).  Indescriminate destruction of juveniles of spiny cheek grouper Epinephelus diacanthus (Valenciennes) off Quilon, Kerala. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India . 48(1), 128-130.
Thomas, J., Venu S., & Kurup B. M. (2003).  Length-weight relationship of some deep-sea fi sh inhabiting the continental slope beyond 250m depth along the West Coast of India. NAGA, WorldFish Center Quarterly. 26(2), 17-21.
Zacharia, P. U., Gupta A. C., & Mahadevaswamy H. S. (1995).  Exploitation of juveniles of the spinycheek grouper, Epinephelus diacanthus by the multi day trawlers along Dakshina Kannada coast. Marine Fisheries Information Services, Technical and Extension Series. 139, 9-12.