Ryan Photographic - Serranidae - Cods, grouper and basslets


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Family Serranidae

FishBase currently recognizes 449 species in 62 genera in the family Serranidae. New species are found regularly though so don't expect these figures to remain constant. Serranids range in size from 3.5 cm long perchlets to monstrous 3m long groupers. One characteristic they all share is that they are all carnivores.

The sex life of serranids is interesting. Some, such as the fairy basslets in the genus Pseudanthias start life as females and change sex to males later in life. Males maintain a harem of females - males can often be seen busy chasing rival males away from their girls. I was once lucky enough to see what I believe was spawning behavior in a Pseudanthias squamipinnis. My attention was attracted by a whirl of color in a small coral "cave". On checking it out I found an orange female being circled at high speed by a male. He had assumed a much darker color pattern than normal males. I watched for perhaps two minutes during which the male's frenetic activity never slowed. I was unable to take a photograph as I couldn't maneuver the flash guns into position. The male was moving so quickly that he was quite literally just a blur. I was astounded that he could maintain such high speed in such a confined space. I assume this was spawning behavior but I didn't stick around long enough to see the outcome.

The basslets, usually found on coral reefs, school in vast numbers during the turning tide when currents are high. This brings fish eggs and zooplakton with it. For a while there is a truce between males while they concentrate on filling their bellies.

Grouper are serial hermaphrodites - they start their reproductive life as females and then change to males. Grouper may aggregate to spawn and are vulnerable to fishing at this time.

The soapfishes (subfamily Grammistinae) produce a skin toxin which deters other fishes from predating them. According to this website grammistins are antibacterial peptide toxins "Some of these peptides have hemolytic and ichthyotoxic activities and all have antibacterial activity with a broad spectrum (Sugiyama et al, 2005; Shiomi et al, 2000)."

Because of an ever-expanding human population the larger grouper are highly endangered. In the United States the Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara (Epinephelus itajara) is protected. In Australia the giant grouper Epinephelus lanceolatus was protected in the early 1980s.

 

Alphestes immaculatus Pacific Mutton Hamlet

Alphestes immaculatus Pacific Mutton Hamlet, Sea of Cortez

FISH 6642 Alphestes immaculatus Pacific Mutton Hamlet, Sea of Cortez.

Alphestes immaculatus Pacific mutton hamlet Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands

FISH 1977 Alphestes immaculatus Pacific mutton hamlet Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands

Alphestes immaculatus Pacific mutton hamlet Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands

FISH 2090 Alphestes immaculatus Pacific mutton hamlet Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands

Anyperodon leucogrammicus Slender grouper

Anyperodon leucogrammicus Slender grouper, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 0222 Anyperodon leucogrammicus Slender grouper, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua

slender grouper

FISH 8738 Anyperodon leucogrammicus Slender grouper Kri Eco Raja Ampat.

Anyperodon leucogrammicus Slender grouper

FISH 8737 Anyperodon leucogrammicus Slender grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

Caesioperca lepidoptera Butterfly perch

Caesioperca lepidoptera Butterfly perch school photographed in New Zealand's Fiordland.

Caesioperca lepidoptera Butterfly perch, Fiordland

Caesioperca lepidoptera Butterfly perch, Fiordland

Caprodon longimanus Pink maomao

Caprodon longimanus Pink maomao, captive, New Zealand

Caprodon longimanus Pink maomao, captive, New Zealand.

Cephalopholis argus Peacock grouper

Cephalopholis argus Peacock grouper

FISH 410 Cephalopholis argus Peacock grouper, Taveuni, Fiji.

Cephalopholis argus Peacock grouper Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7846 Cephalopholis argus Peacock grouper Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Cephalopholis cyanostigma Bluespotted grouper

Cephalopholis cyanostigma Bluespotted grouper, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 0114 Cephalopholis cyanostigma Bluespotted grouper, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Cephalopholis cyanostigma Bluespotted grouper, Goggle Garden, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8490.jpg

FISH 8490 Cephalopholis cyanostigma Bluespotted grouper, Goggle Garden, Great Barrier Reef.

Cephalopholis miniata Coral grouper

Cephalopholis miniata Coral grouper, Taveuni, Fiji

FISH 4392 Cephalopholis miniata Coral grouper, Taveuni, Fiji.

Cephalopholis miniata, Coral grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 7409 Cephalopholis miniata, Coral grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

Cephalopholis miniata Coral grouper, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 4237 Cephalopholis miniata Coral grouper, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Cephalopholis sexmaculata Saddle grouper

Cephalopholis miniata Coral grouper, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 1342 Cephalopholis sexmaculata Saddle grouper, Kri Eco

Cephalopholis miniata Coral grouper, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 3252 Cephalopholis sexmaculata Saddle grouper, Kri Eco

Cephalopholis sexmaculata Saddle grouper, Kri Eco

FISH 8719 Cephalopholis sexmaculata Saddle grouper, Kri Eco.

Cephalopholis panamensis Panama Graysby

Cephalopholis panamensis, Panama Graysby, Sea of Cortez

FISH 6214 Cephalopholis panamensis, Panama Graysby, Sea of Cortez.

Cephalopholis panamensis, Panama Graysby, Sea of Cortez

FISH 6215 Cephalopholis panamensis, Panama Graysby, Sea of Cortez.

Cephalopholis sexfasciatus Saddle grouper

Cephalopholis sexfasciatus Saddle grouper, Somosomo Strait, Taveun

FISH 4122 Cephalopholis sexfasciatus Saddle grouper, Somosomo Strait, Taveuni.

Cephalopholis spiloparaea Strawberry grouper

Strawberry grouper

FISH 4051 Cephalopholis spiloparaea Strawberry grouper, Taveuni, Fiji.

Cephalopholiis spiloparaea Strawberry grouper photographed in Fiji.

Cephalopholis spiloparaea Strawberry grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 7353 Cephalopholis spiloparaea Strawberry grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Cephalopholis urodeta Flagtail grouper

Cephalopholis urodeta, Flagtail grouper

FISH 9928 Cephalopholis urodeta, Flagtail grouper, Kadavu, Fiji.

Cromileptes altivelis Barramundi cod

Barramundi cod

FISH 8777 Cromileptes altivelis Barramundi cod Kri Eco Raja Ampat.

Dermatolepis dermatolepis Leather bass

Dermatolepis dermatolepis Leather bass Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico

FISH 1860 Dermatolepis dermatolepis Leather bass adult Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico

Dermatolepis dermatolepis Leather bass juveniles in urchins  Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico

FISH 1637 Dermatolepis dermatolepis Leather bass juveniles in urchins Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico

Dermatolepis dermatolepis Leather bass juveniles in urchins  Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico

FISH 1638 Dermatolepis dermatolepis Leather bass juveniles in urchins Isla Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico

Diploprion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish

Diploprion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish Raja Ampat West Papua

FISH 1491 Diploprion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish Raja Ampat West Papua.

Diploprion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish Raja Ampat West Papua

FISH 1479 Diploprion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish Raja Ampat West Papua.

Diploprion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish Raja Ampat West Papua

FISH 7605 Diploprion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish Raja Ampat West Papua.

Diplorion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 8628 Diplorion bifasciatum Doublebanded soapfish, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Epinephelus caeruleopunctatus Whitespotted grouper

Epinephalus caeruleopunctatus Whitespotted grouper

FISH 7338 Epinephelus caeruleopunctatus Whitespotted grouper, Taveuni, Fiji.

Epinephelus cruentatus Graysby

Epinephelus cruentatus, Graysby (Serranidae),

FISH 3280 Epinephelus cruentatus, Graysby (Serranidae), Glover's Reef, Belize.

Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper

Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 1932 Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 7804 Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Epinephalus fasciatus Blacktip grouper night time coloration Raja Ampat

FISH 9848 Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper night time coloration Raja Ampat.

Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper, Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7860 Epinephelus fasciatus Blacktip grouper, Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Epinephelus fuscoguttatus Flowery cod

Epinephalus fuscoguttatus Flowery cod, Nigali Passage, Fiji

Epinephelus fuscoguttatus Flowery cod, Nigali Passge, Fiji.

Epinephelus fulvus Coney

Epinephelus fulvus Coney photographed in Belize at Glover's Reef.

Epinephelus guttatus Red hind

Epinephelus guttatus, red hind

FISH 3297 Epinephelus guttatus, red hind, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Epinephelus guttatus, red hind

FISH 3300 Epinephelus guttatus, red hind, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Epinephelus guttatus Red hind. Glover's Reef, Belize.

Epinephelus labriformis Flag cabrilla

Epinephelus labriformis Flag cabrilla Sea of Cortez

FISH 5447 Epinephelus labriformis Flag cabrilla Sea of Cortez.

Epinephelus labriformis Flag cabrilla Sea of Cortez

FISH 6161 Epinephelus labriformis Flag cabrilla Sea of Cortez.

Epinephelus maculatus Highfin grouper

Epinephelus maculatus Highfin grouper Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 8158 Epinephelus maculatus Highfin grouper Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Epinephelus merra Honeycomb grouper

Epinephalus merra Honeycomb grouper, Kadavu, Fiji

Epinephelus merra Honeycomb grouper, Kadavu, Fiji.

Epinephelus ongus Whitestreaked grouper

Epinephelus ongus Whitestreaked grouper juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7334 Epinephelus ongus Whitestreaked grouper juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Epinephelus ongus Whitestreaked grouper, Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7867 Epinephelus ongus Whitestreaked grouper, Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Epinephelus ongus Whtestreaked grouper juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7873 Epinephelus ongus Whtestreaked grouper juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Epinephelus spilotoceps Four-saddle grouper

Epinephelus spilotoceps, Four-saddle grouper

FISH 6975 Epinephelus spilotoceps, Four-saddle grouper, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Epinephelus striatus Nassau Grouper

Epinephelus striatus Nassau grouper being groomed by neon goby, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Epinephalus striatus Nassau grouper

FISH 3172 Epinephelus striatus, Nassau grouper, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod , Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8248.jpg

FISH 8248 Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or Potato cod , Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef.

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod checking me out, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8243.jpg

FISH 8243 Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or Potato cod checking me out, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod with cleaner fish and diver, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8245.jpg

FISH 8245 Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or Potato cod with cleaner fish and diver, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod with cleaner fish in mouth, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8238.jpg

FISH 8238 Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or Potato cod with cleaner fish in mouth, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod with cleaner fish, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef horizontal IMG_8240.jpg

FISH 8240 Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or Potato cod with cleaner fish, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod with cleaner fish, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8240.jpg

FISH 8240b Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or Potato cod with cleaner fish, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef - full frame of the shot above

Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or potato cod with cleaner fish, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8244.jpg

FISH 8244 Epinephelus tukula Potato grouper or Potato cod with cleaner fish, Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef

Hypoplectrodes huntii Banded perch

Hypoplectrodes huntii Banded perch and black coral in New Zealand's Fiordland.

Hypoplectrus unicolor Hamlet

Hypoplectrus unicolor var. puella, barred hamlet, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Hypoplectrus unicolor var. nigricans, black hamlet, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Hypoplectrus unicolor var. indigo, indigo hamlet, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Indigo hamlet

FISH 3179 Hypoplectrus indigo, Indigo hamlet, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Hypoplectrus indigo, Indigo hamlet

FISH 3209 Hypoplectrus indigo, Indigo hamlet, Glover's Reef, Belize - I just can't resist photographing these guys - they are sooo beautiful.

Lepidoperca tasmanica Wavylined perch

Lepidoperca tasmanica Wavylined perch. Deepwater emergent in New Zealand's Fiordland.

wavylined perch

Lepidoperca tasmanica Wavylined perch

wavyllined perch

Lepidoperca tasmanica Wavylined perch lateral

Luzonichthys waitei Slender anthias

Luzonichthys waitei Slender anthias (Serranidae), Taveuni, Fiji

Luzonichthys waitei Slender anthias, Taveuni, Fiji

Mycteroperca bonaci Black grouper

Mycteroperca bonaci Black grouper, Bahamas

Mycteroperca bonaci Black grouper, Bahamas

Mycteroperca rosacea Leopard grouper

Mycteroperca rosacea Leopard grouper Sea of Cortez
FISH 6114 Mycteroperca rosacea Leopard grouper Sea of Cortez.

Mycteroperca tigris Tiger grouper

Mycteroperca tigris, Tiger grouper

FISH 3174 Mycteroperca tigris, tiger grouper, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Mycteroperca tigris, Tiger grouper

FISH 3175 Mycteroperca tigris, tiger grouper, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Mycteroperca tigris, Tiger grouper

FISH 2730 Mycteroperca tigris, tiger grouper, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Tiger grouper

FISH 2731 Mycteroperca tigris, tiger grouper, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Paranthias colonus Pacific creolefish

Paranthias colonus Pacific creolefish intermediate, Sea of Cortez

FISH 6962 Paranthias colonus Pacific creolefish intermediate, Sea of Cortez.

Paranthias colonus Pacific creolefish, the Boiler, San Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands

FISH 2137 Paranthias colonus Pacific creolefish, the Boiler, San Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands

Plectropomus laevis Blacksaddle coral grouper

Plectropomus laevis Blacksaddle coral grouper, Lighthouse Bommie, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8381.jpg

FISH 8381 Plectropomus laevis Blacksaddle coral grouper, Lighthouse Bommie, Great Barrier Reef

Plectropomus leopardus Leopard Coral grouper

Plectropomus leopardus Leopard Coral grouper, Coral Kingdom, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8420.jpg

FISH 8420 Plectropomus leopardus Leopard Coral grouper, Coral Kingdom, Great Barrier Reef

Plectropomus leopardus Leopard Coral grouper, Coral Kingdom, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8421.jpg

FISH 8241 Plectropomus leopardus Leopard Coral grouper, Coral Kingdom, Great Barrier Reef. This is the same fish in the shot above taken a few seconds later!

Plectropomus oligocanthus Highfin coral trout

Plectropomus oligocanthus Highfin coral trout Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 8243 Plectropomus oligocanthus Highfin coral trout Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Plectropomus oligocanthus Highfin coral trout Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 8243 Plectropomus oligocanthus Highfin coral trout Kri Eco, Raja Ampat. Looks as if it has been recently attacked ...

Plectropomus oligocanthus Highfin coral trout Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 8244 Plectropomus oligocanthus Highfin coral trout Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

Pseudanthias dispar Redfin anthias

Pseudanthias dispar Redfin anthias male, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 2838 Pseudanthias dispar, Redfin anthias male, Raja Ampat, West Papua

Pseudanthias dispar Redfin anthias male, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 7266 Pseudanthias dispar, Redfin anthias male, Raja Ampat, West Papua

Pseudanthias dispar Redfin anthias male, Mike's Bommie, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8787.jpg

FISH 8787 Pseudanthias dispar Redfin anthias male, Steve's Bommie, Great Barrier Reef

Pseudanthias dispar Redfin anthias male, Mike's Bommie, Great Barrier Reef IMG_8780.jpg

FISH 8780 Pseudanthias dispar Redfin anthias male, Steve's Bommie, Great Barrier Reef

Pseudanthias huchti Threadfin anthias

Pseudanthias huchti Threadfin anthias male, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 2802 Pseudanthias huchti Threadfin anthias male, Raja Ampat, West Papua

Pseudanthias huchti Threadfin anthias females, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 2800 Pseudanthias huchti Threadfin anthias females, Raja Ampat, West Papua

Pseudanthias huchti male, Pseudanthias tucha females in back, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 3380 Pseudanthias huchti Threadfin anthias male, Pseudanthias tucha females in back, Raja Ampat, West Papua

Pseudanthias hypselosoma Stocky anthias

Pseudanthias hypselosoma Stocky anthias, Kadavu, Fiji

FISH 3641 Pseudanthias hypselosoma Stocky anthias females, Kadavu, Fiji.

Pseudanthias pascalus Purple queen

Pseudanthias pascalus Purple queen. Male with females in background. Solo Reef, Fiji.

Pseudanthias pascalus Purple queen. Male, Solo Reef, Kadavu, Fiji

Pseudanthias pleurotaenia Squarespot anthias

Pseudanthias pleurotaenia, Squarespot Anthias male, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

FISH 6931 Pseudanthias pleurotaenia, Squarespot Anthias male, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

Pseudanthias pleurotaenia, Squarespot anthias, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat
FISH 6940 Pseudanthias pleurotaenia Squarespot anthias male, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Pseudanthias squamipinnis Scalefin anthias

Pseudanthias squamipinnis Scalefin anthias. Male, purple variant. Fiji.

Scalefin anthias female

FISH 4084 Female Pseudanthias squamipinnis Scalefin anthias, Taveuni, Fiji.

Pseudanthias tuka Purple anthias

Pseudanthias tuka Purple anthias male and females, Raja Ampat West Papua

FISH 3384 Pseudanthias tuka Purple anthias male and females, Raja Ampat West Papua.

Pseudanthias tuka Purple anthias male, Raja Ampat West Papua

FISH 3383 Pseudanthias tuka Purple anthias male, Raja Ampat West Papua

Pseudanthias tuka Purple anthias Kri Eco Raja Ampat

FISH 9281 Pseudanthias tuka Purple anthias Kri Eco Raja Ampat.

Pseudanthias tuka Purple queen female Kri Eco Raja Ampat

FISH 9283 Pseudanthias tuka Purple queen female Kri Eco Raja Ampat.

Rypticus bicolor Mottled soapfish

Rypticus bicolor Mottled soapfish, Roca Partida, Revillagigedo Islands

FISH 1767 Rypticus bicolor Mottled soapfish, Roca Partida, Revillagigedo Islands

Rypticus bicolor Mottled soapfish, Roca Partida, Revillagigedo Islands

FISH 1769 Rypticus bicolor Mottled soapfish, Roca Partida, Revillagigedo Islands

Rypticus saponaceus Greater soapfish

Greater soapfish

Rypticus saponaceus Greater soapfish, Bahamas.

Serranocirrhitus latus Hawk anthias

Serranocirrhitus latus Hawk anthias

FISH 4138 Serranocirrhitus latus Hawk anthias, Taveuni, Fiji.

Serranocirrhitus latus Hawk anthias in typical swimming position. Solo Reef, Kadavu, Fiji

Serranus psittacinus Barred serrano

Barrede serrano

FISH 2212 Serranus psittacinus Barred serrano, Sea of Cortez.

Serranus tabacarius Tobacco bass

Serranus tabacarius, Glover's Reef, Belize

FISH 2580 Serranus tabacarius, Tobacco bass, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Coryphopterus Masked or glass goby, Roatan

FISH 0823 Serranus tabacarius, Tobaccofish, Roatan.

Serranus tigrinus Harlequin bass

Serranus tigrinus Harlequin bass, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Serranus tigrinus Harlequin bass, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Harlequin bass

FISH 3197 Serranus tigrinus, Harlequin bass, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Serranus tigrinus, Harlequin bass, Glover's Reef, Belize

FISH 3198 Serranus tigrinus, Harlequin bass, Glover's Reef, Belize.

 

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