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Groupers
Malabar grouper, Epinephelus malabaricus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Serranidae
Subfamily: Epinephelinae
Genera

Acanthistius
Alphestes
Anyperidon
Caprodon
Cephalopholis
Chromileptes
Dermatolepis
Epinephelus
Gonioplectrus
Gracila
Hypoplectrodes
Liopropoma
Mycteroperca
Niphon
Paranthias
Plectropomus
Saloptia
Triso
Variola

Groupers are fish of any of a number of genera in the subfamily Epinephelinae of the family Serranidae, in the order Perciformes.

Not all serranids are called groupers; the family also includes the sea basses. The common name grouper is usually given to fish in one of two large genera: Epinephelus and Mycteroperca. In addition, the species classified in the small genera Anyperidon, Cromileptes, Dermatolepis, Gracila, Saloptia and Triso are also called groupers. Fish classified in the genus Plectropomus are referred to as coral groupers. These genera are all classified in the subfamily Epiphelinae. However, some of the hamlets (genus Alphestes), the hinds (genus Cephalopholis), the lyretails (genus Variola) and some other small genera (Gonioplectrus, Niphon, Paranthias) are also in this subfamily, and occasional species in other serranid genera have common names involving the word "grouper". Nonetheless, the word "groupers" on its own is usually taken as meaning the subfamily Epinephelinae.

Contents

Name origin

The word "grouper" comes from the word for the fish, most widely believed to be from the Portuguese name, garoupa. The origin of this name in Portuguese is believed to be from an indigenous South American language.[citation needed]

In Australia, the name "Groper" is used instead of "Grouper" for several species, such as the Queensland groper (Epinephelus lanceolatus). In New Zealand, "groper" refers to a type of wreckfish, Polyprion oxygeneios, which goes by the Māori name of hāpuku[1]. In the Middle East, the fish is known as Hammour, and is widely eaten, especially in the Persian Gulf region.[citation needed]

In the United States, grouper are often found in waters off Florida.[citation needed]

Description

Groupers are teleosts, typically having a stout body and a large mouth. They are not built for long-distance fast swimming. They can be quite large, and lengths over a meter and weights up to 100 kg are not uncommon, though obviously in such a large group species vary considerably. They swallow prey rather than biting pieces off it. They do not have many teeth on the edges of their jaws, but they have heavy crushing tooth plates inside the pharynx. They habitually eat fish, octopus, crab, and lobster. They lie in wait, rather than chasing in open water. According to the film-maker Graham Ferreira, there is at least one record, from Mozambique, of a human being killed by one of these fish.

Their mouth and gills form a powerful sucking system that sucks their prey in from a distance. They also use their mouth to dig into sand to form their shelters under big rocks, jetting it out through their gills. Their gill muscles are so powerful that it is nearly impossible to pull them out of their cave if they feel attacked and extend those muscles to lock themselves in.

There is some research indicating that roving coral groupers (Plectropomus pessuliferus) sometimes cooperate with giant morays in hunting.[2]

Reproduction

Most fish spawn between May and August. They are protogynous hermaphrodite, i.e. the young are predominantly female but transform into males as they grow larger. They grow about a kilogram per year. Generally they are adolescent until they reach three kilograms, when they become female. At about 10 to 12 kg they turn to male. Usually, males have a harem of three to fifteen females in the broader region. In the rare case that no male exists close by, the largest female turns faster. Most males look much wilder and bigger than females, even if they happen to be smaller[citation needed] (compare bull to cow, or rooster to hen, or lion to lioness).

Modern use

Many groupers are important food fish, and some of them are now farmed. Unlike most other fish species which are chilled or frozen, groupers are usually sold alive in markets. Many species are popular fish for sea-angling. Some species are small enough to be kept in aquaria, though even the small species are inclined to grow rapidly.

Size

A newspaper reported a 396.8 pound grouper being caught off the waters near Pulau Sembilan in the Straits of Malacca on Tuesday 15, January 2008.[3] (Image at [1])

Shenzhen newspaper reported that a 1.8 meter grouper swallowed a 1.0 meter Whitetip reef shark at the Fuzhou Sea World aquarium.[4]

Species of grouper include:

Cultural references

References

  1. ^ http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/coastal-fish/6/2
  2. ^ Interspecific Communicative and Coordinated Hunting between Groupers and Giant Moray Eels in the Red Sea
  3. ^ Whopper of a grouper bought for RM10,000
  4. ^ 海底"血案":巨型石斑鱼一口吞下白鳍鲨

External links


Simple English

Groupers
File:Epinephelus
Malabar grouper, Epinephelus malabaricus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Serranidae
Subfamily: Epinephelus

The Grouper is a large fish that lives in salt water. It likes warm waters.









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