The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Epinephelus fasciatus
Epinephelus fasciatus
(blacktip grouper)
Marine Fishes

Copyright Info
Epinephelus fasciatus (Forsskål, 1775)

Common name: blacktip grouper

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Dorsal rays XI (15-17); anal rays III (7-8), pectoral rays 18-20; lateral-line scales 49-75.  Scale counts and colouration variable within the extensive range -- at least 6 morphologically distinct populations known (Randall and Heemstra 1991; Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Size: 40.0 cm TL; max.weight: 2,000.0 g.

Native Range: Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and western Indian Ocean to western Australia, and in the Pacfic from Japan and Korea to southern Queensland and Lord Howe Island and eastward to the Pitcairn Islands (Randall and Heemstra 1991; Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: In 1958, 51 fish from the Marquesas were stocked in marine waters off the island of Oahu, Hawaii (Maciolek 1984).  These fish failed to establish (Mundy 2005).

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Epinephelus fasciatus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
HI195820052Hawaii; Oahu

Table last updated 6/26/2022

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Feeds on fishes and crustaceans (e.g., brachyuran crabs).  Occurs on coral reefs or rocky substrata over a variety of depths.  It is common in shallow water, but also recorded from up to 160 m. From Randall and Heemstra 1991.

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked.

Status: Failed.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall. 1993. FAO Species Catalogue Vol. 16. Groupers of the World (Family Serranidae, Subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis, No. 125, Vol. 16. Rome, FAO 382 pp.

Mundy, B. C.  2005.  Fishes of the Hawaiian Archipelago.  Bishop Museum Bulletins in Zoology, Number 6.

Randall, J. E. and P. C. Heemstra.  1991.  Revision of Indo-Pacific groupers (Perciformes: Serranidae: Epinephelinae), with description of five new species.  Indo-Pacific Fishes, No. 20.  Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI.

Russell, B.C. and W. Houston. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences 6(1):69-84.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Schofield, P.J., and Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 3/1/2006

Peer Review Date: 3/1/2006

Citation Information:
Schofield, P.J., and Fuller, P., 2022, Epinephelus fasciatus (Forsskål, 1775): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=967, Revision Date: 3/1/2006, Peer Review Date: 3/1/2006, Access Date: 6/29/2022

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2022]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/29/2022].

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