Epinephelus costae (Steindachner, 1878)
Goldblotch grouper
Epinephelus costae
photo by Minguell, C.

 Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
 Max. size:  140 cm SL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  demersal; depth range 1 - 200 m
 Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Records of Epinephelus alexandrinus from Madeira are apparently based on misidentifications of Myctoperca fusca.
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-17; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. Distinguished by the following characteristics: head and body brownish, fins darker; two dark lines on head, one from lower edge of the eye to the ventral rear edge of the interopercle, 2nd from the dark maxillary streak to the lower edge of the preopercle; adults brown or greyish brown; distinct yellow blotch on body below the spinous dorsal fin; body depth less than head length, depth contained 3.0-3.4 times in Sl; head length 2.5-2.7 times in SL; interorbital area convex; angular preopercle, 2-3 enlarged serrae at the angle; middle and lower opercular spines flat but distinct, upper spine not apparent; straight or slightly convex upper edge of operculum; maxilla usually reaching a vertical rear edge of eye, ventral edge of maxilla with low step, no scale on maxilla; 2 rows of teeth on midlateral part of lower jaw; lateral body scales ctenoid, with auxilliary scales in adults; pyloric caeca 17 (Ref. 89707).
 Biology:  Found on sand, mud or rock bottoms (Ref. 6789). Juveniles form small groups (Ref. 12382) in shallow water (Ref. 89707). Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, and fish (Ref. 12382). Does not adapt well in aquariums (Ref. 12382).
 IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient  (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   

 Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 25.03.94
 Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 08.04.14
 Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 05.04.94

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