Posted by: glennandert | 20-August-2008

Coral Hind Grouper

I love the colors in this guy. He is called a “Coral Hind Grouper”.

The fact that it’s a grouper I find rather amazing, considering that other groupers are often ugly and this guy is gorgeous. Given it’s coloration, I would have thought it would be deadly to eat, but according to Wikipedia, it is in fact a favorite target of the fishing industry because they are a good eating fish and command high market prices.

This shot was taken near Namena Island, Fiji (subject of an earlier post). This is its typical habitat, trying to stay hidden under rocks or large coral.

There is a splendid article that claims the fish is intelligent and personable. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never talked to one. 🙂

This species and related species are apparently hardy aquarium fish. The ones I’ve seen are often a good 300mm long (more than a foot). Seems rather sad to have a fish that wants to grow to that size trapped in a 50 gallon hobbyist acquarium – that would be like spending your life rattling around in your closet. At least the article referenced above recommends at least a 180 gallon tank to house this fish. Every reference I’ve read seems to indicate that these are caught in the wild and shipped to stores where they recover quickly and are sold to hobbyists. Ouch.

Like most fish, these eat smaller fish.

Here is a close up, taken at Moala Island, Fiji.

I’ve read that Coral groupers are a fairly territorial species, with harems defending areas of reef of around 400 square metres. Each harem consists of one dominant male and 2-12 females. Within the harem’s area, territory may be sub-divided and defended by individual females from the harem. I’ve never seen that behavior. I’ve always see solitary individuals. Coral trout are protogynous hermaphrodites. That is, they start their lives as females and change sex to become males later in life.

Here is a satellite photo of Malolo Island, where this photo was taken:


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