Plectropomus maculatus

Spotted coral trout PLM
Characteristic features:

Body reddish or dark greenish-brown with dark-edged blue spots, which on head are about twice the size of nostrils; some spots on head and body are elongate; No spots on pelvic fin or on ventral part of body; rear caudal fin with white margin.


Up to 125 cm TL.


Indo–West Pacific in tropical waters.


Coral reefs, from 5 to 50 m depth

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught with hook-and-line, spear, and in trawls.

Similar species:

Plectropomus areolatus
Squaretail coral trout

Plectropomus areolatus feature

Plectropomus areolatus differs in having spots ventrally (vs. no spots ventrally) and numerous spots on head (vs. fewer spots on head, 3–7 on cheek (below and behind the eye to rear edge of preopercle)).

Plectropomus laevis
Blacksaddle coral trout

Plectropomus laevis feature

Plectropomus laevis differs in having pectoral-fin rays 16–18 (vs. 15–17) and gill rakers at angle shorter than gill filaments at angle (vs. gill raker at angle distinctly longer than gill filament at angle).

Plectropomus leopardus
Leopard coral trout

Plectropomus leopardus feature

Plectropomus leopardus differs in having spots on the head never elongate (vs. elongate).

Plectropomus oligacanthus
Highfin coral trout

Plectropomus oligacanthus feature

Plectropomus oligacanthus differs in having horizontal to oblique blue lines on head (vs. few spots, many oval or elongate, on the head with 3–7 on cheek (below and behind the eye to rear edge of preopercle)); vertical blue lines or dashes along sides of body (at least in adults) and spots elsewhere) (vs. spots on body round and oval, becoming more uniformly round posteriorly and dorsal and anal fins with blue lines spots (vs. with blue spots only).

Plectropomus pessuliferus
Roving coral grouper

Plectropomus pessuliferus feature

Plectropomus pessuliferus differs in having the longest gill rakers shorter than the longest filaments (vs. longest gill raker distinctly longer than longest fill filament); spots vertically elongated on the body (vs. spots round) and blue spots on the pelvic fin (vs. spots absent).

Variola spp.

Variola albimarginata feature
Variola albimarginata

Variola spp. differ in having 9 dorsal-fin spines (vs. 7–8); lower edge of preopercle smooth (vs. lower edge of preopercle with 1 to 3 enlarged spines) and caudal fin lunate (vs. emarginate).

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