Goldblotch grouper – Golden Grouper – Epinephelus costae Cernia Dorata Dotto Epinephelus costae Goldblotch grouper intotheblue.it
It is an extremely wary species towards humans, therefore difficult to approach and photograph. This distrust and the fact that it is a rather rare species put this species as vulnerableiIn the ranking of the IUCN, the World Union for the Conservation of Nature,this because, as for the other species of Grouper, fishing is the main threat, in particular trawling and underwater as well as the destruction of habitat.
Golden grouper or also known as ductus (Epinephelus costae) is a sea fish of the Serranidae family.
Distribution and habitat
It is a southernmost species of the most common and well-known brown grouper, in fact in the Atlantic it is not found further north than the gulf of Cadiz while to the south it reaches South Africa. In Italian waters it is more common along the coasts of the southern regions.
It lives on mixed funds of sand and rock with prevalence of the latter.
It has a more elongated shape and a lower jaw that is more prominent than the brown grouper but it is recognized above all for the coloring, which however goes through various phases:
- normal livery: golden yellow spot behind the gill operculum, four parallel horizontal dark lines on the back, on a beige background;
- young: there are more than four lines on the sides, no golden spot on the side;
- adult male: golden stain clearly visible and extended lower half of the whitish body surmounted by a very dark irregular band.
The dimensions reach 80 cm per 8 kg of weight.
Identical to that of the brown grouper. Cernia Dorata Dotto Epinephelus costae Goldblotch grouper intotheblue.it
It is more gregarious than the other groupers and can live in small herds. Young people are sometimes extraordinarily friendly and show no fear of divers while adults are very suspicious.