Plectropomus laevis (Lacepede, 1801), type locality not specified.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Blacksaddled coral trout, giant coral trout, tiger coral trout; French: Mйrou sellй.
Body elongate and robust, with the outer margin of the anal fin straight, and a large and slightly emarginate caudal fin. The mouth is relatively large with prominent canines. There are 8 spines and 11 soft rays in the dorsal fin, 3 spines and 8 soft rays in the anal fin, and 16–18 rays in the pectoral fin. This species has two color phases. The “tiger” or pale phase consists of a base color of white with four black bars or saddles, some incomplete, along the flank, yellow fins and mouth parts, and small blue spots with dark edges on the caudal penduncle and caudal fin. The dark phase is reddish brown with many small blue spots with dark edges scattered over the body and fins, and less prominent bars along the flanks. Grows to 39 in (100 cm) in total length.
Indo-West Pacific, from Kenya and Mozambique east to the Tuamotu Archipelago in Polynesia, north to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, and south to Queensland in Australia; absent from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
Juveniles are often found in turbid areas of deeper lagoons and back reefs, while adults prefer the clear water of seaward reefs, lagoons, and passes. Will utilize holes and crevices in the reef for shelter.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
An efficient predator that feeds primarily upon smaller fishes and, to a lesser extent, large crustaceans. Larger individuals take larger prey, however, and often these are fishes (e.g., parrotfishes, large wrasses, surgeonfishes) that may be up to nearly half their body length in size.
Juveniles and young adults may be somewhat gregarious and often hover above the bottom, but will retreat to shelter when threatened. Larger adults utilize habitats as shelter but may be found patrolling territories or home ranges.
Protogynous hermaphrodite that forms spawning aggregations prior to courtship and spawning. Spawning occurs between October and November on the northern Great Barrier Reef. Spawning is pelagic, as are the eggs and larvae.
Not listed by the IUCN but potentially vulnerable to overfishing at some localities.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
A species of particular importance to commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries. Large individuals may be highly ciguatoxic.
Copyright © 2016-2017 Animalia Life | All rights reserved