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 merra
Epinephelus merra
(dwarf spotted grouper)
Marine Fishes

Copyright Info
Epinephelus merra Bloch, 1793

Common name: dwarf spotted grouper

Synonyms and Other Names: Honeycomb grouper

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Heemstra and Randall (1993).

Size: 31.0 cm NG.

Native Range: Marine; Indo-Pacific: South Africa to French Polynesia. African coast from Kenya to South Africa. Not known from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, nor Asian mainland (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Introduced into marine waters off Kauai and Oahu, Hawaii (Maciolek 1984). Failed to establish off the marine waters of Oahu (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 merra are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
HI195619612Hawaii; Oahu

Table last updated 6/25/2022

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: 1631 fish were imported from the Moorea in 1956 and were subsequently stocked (Maciolek 1984).

Status: The species failed to become established (Maciolek 1984).

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.

Remarks: None.

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.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 2/19/2020

Peer Review Date: 4/13/2006

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2022, Epinephelus merra Bloch, 1793: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=971, Revision Date: 2/19/2020, Peer Review Date: 4/13/2006, Access Date: 6/25/2022

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 [6/25/2022].

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