Cephalopholis leopardus (Lacep├Ęde, 1801)
Leopard hind
photo by Greenfield, J.

 Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
 Max. size:  24 cm TL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 40 m, non-migratory
 Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa (but not the Red Sea, Persian Gulf or South Africa) to the Society Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to northern Australia. Including most islands of the Indian Ocean and that of the west-central Pacific (Ref. 5222). Record from Rodriguez by Heemstra & Randall (1984, Ref. 3153) could not be verified and is probably erroneous (Ref. 33390).
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-15; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 9-10. Resembles C. urodeta, but always has a distinctive dark saddle on caudal peduncle (Ref. 37816); characterized further by reddish brown head with numerous red-orange or pinkish red spots, extending to pectoral region; mottled pinkish brown body; upper caudal-fin base with large dark brown saddle with smaller saddle just behind; upper part of caudal fin with dark brown streak, less intense streak on lower part; ctenoid scales on body including abdomen; greatest depth of body 2.6-2.9 in SL; rounded caudal fin; pelvic fins, 2.0-2.3 in head length (Ref. 90102).
 Biology:  Occurs in coral-rich areas of lagoon pinnacles, channels, and outer reef slopes. Solitary (Ref. 37816), a secretive species, usually hiding in caves and crevices in the reefs. One of the smallest species of groupers known. Omnivorous with diet composed of fishes and crustaceans; relatively low egg production per individual (Ref. 089707).
 IUCN Red List Status:   (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   
 

 Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 08.10.92
 Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 27.08.13
 Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 15.03.94

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