Epinephelus bontoides

Palemargin grouper
Characteristic features:

Head and body grey-brown, body scattered with reddish-brown to black spots over head, back and sides; fins dark grey with narrow pale margins. Darker brown bars may be present on posterior half of body.


Up to 30 cm TL.


Western Pacific in tropical waters.


Found over mud, rocky or cobble bottoms, from the surface to 30 m depth.

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught in artisanal and subsistence fisheries, but little information is available.

Similar species:

Epinephelus corallicola
Coral grouper

Epinephelus corallicola

Epinephelus corallicola differs in having the upper edge of operculum convex (vs. straight) and body colour pale grey (vs. brownish to greenish grey).

Epinephelus longispinis
Longspine grouper

Epinephelus longispinis

Epinephelus longispinis differs in having the 3rd or 4th dorsal-fin spines longer than other dorsal-fin spines (vs. 3rd to 11th spine subequal in length) and spots round and widely spaced anteriorly on body, becoming elongate and closer together on posteriorly (vs. spots remaining round and evenly spaced over whole body).

Epinephelus magniscuttis
Spotted grouper

Epinephelus magniscuttis

Epinephelus magniscuttis differs in having dark brown to greyish green spots unevenly scattered on the mid and upper parts of head and body (vs. widely spaced, small, dark reddish brown, round spots on head and front half of body, becoming obliquely elongated and closer together posteriorly) and spots absent on anal and paired fins (vs. spots present).

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