Peacock Grouper

Cephalopholis-argus

Photo Credit: Keoki Stender

Peacock Grouper (Cephalopholis argus)

Description:

  • Dark brown body with small blue spots and blue to purple fins (FishBase, 2017)
  • Large pale area on chest and light vertical stripes on back half of body (FishBase, 2017)
  • Can reach up to 24 inches in length (STRC, 2015)

Habitat:

  • Occurs on coral reefs typically less than 40 feet in depth (STRC, 2015)
  • Prefers warm, tropical water (USGS, 2021)

Impacts & Concern:

  • Spread through main Hawaiian islands and has become a dominant predator on reefs (USGS, 2021) 

Introduction:

  • Intentionally stocked as sportfish in Hawaiʻi in 1956 (USGS, 2021)
  • Quickly became established and was a popular game fish by the 1970s (USGS, 2021)

Distribution in Hawaii (USGS 2021):

  • Kauai: Unknown
  • O‘ahu: Present
  • Molokai: Unknown
  • Lanai: Unknown
  • Maui: Unknown
  • Big Island: Present

References:

  • FishBase. (2017). Cephalopholis argus summary page. Retrieved March 05, 2021, from https://www.fishbase.se/summary/6396. 
  • USGS. (2021). peacock hind (Cephalopholis argus) – Species Profile. Retrieved March 05, 2021, from https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=964. 
  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Center. (2015). Species: Cephalopholis argus (Peacock Grouper). Shorefishes – The Fishes – Species. Retrieved March 05, 2021, from https://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/caribbean/en/thefishes/species/5572.