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Cephalopholis argus  Schneider, 1801

Peacock hind
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Cephalopholis argus
Picture by Moldzio, S.

Australia country information

Common names: Peacock cod, Peacock hind, Peacock rockcod
Occurrence: native
Salinity: marine
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: minor commercial | Ref: Johannes, R.E. and J.W. MacFarlane, 1991
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: live export: yes;
Comments: Occurs in W. Australia, N. Territory, Qld., and Lord Howe Island (Ref. 4787); also from the Torres Strait Islands (Ref. 13465) and from the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Ref. 75154); Queensland (Ref 90102). Museum: AMS I.17417-003, I.17445-130; USNM 202812; NTM S.11981-007, S.11374; NTM 11313-005, 11393-013; BPBM 32054. Also Ref. 5222, 33390, 101150.
National Checklist:
Country Information:
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, J.R. Paxton and G.R. Allen, 2006
National Database:

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae
Etymology: Cephalopholis: Greek, kephale = head + Greek, pholis = scale (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Schneider.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 1 - 40 m (Ref. 37816), usually 1 - 15 m (Ref. 90102).   Tropical; 24°C - 28°C; 29°N - 34°S, 33°E - 122°W (Ref. 5222)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to Durban, South Africa and eastward to French Polynesia and the Pitcairn group, north to the Ryukyu and Ogasawara islands, south to northern Australia and Lord Howe Island. May be confused with Cephalopholis cyanostigma.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 22 - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 11441); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-17; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 9. Dark brown in color, with small black-edged ocelli; 5-6 pale bars on rear part of body; large pale area over chest; distal part of pectorals sometimes maroon brown; triangular membranes at tips of dorsal fin spines orange-gold in color; further characterized by having ctenoid scales, becoming cycloid ventrally on belly; greatest body depth 2.7-3.3 in SL; rounded caudal fin; short pelvic fin, 1.9-2.4 in head length (Ref. 90102); head length 2.4-2.7 times in SL; small eyes, diameter less than snout length; interorbital area flat to slightly convex; rounded preopercle, finely serrate in young, virtually smooth in large adults, lower edge fleshy; smooth subopercle and interopercle; scaly maxilla, reaching well past eye (Ref. 89707).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A generally common species (Ref. 9710) found in a variety of coral habitats (Ref. 58534) from tide pools to depths of at least 40 m; prefers the 1 to 10 m reef zone. Juvenile prefers shallow, protected coral thickets (Ref. 37816). Benthic and benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Feeds mainly on fishes (75-95%) and to a lesser extent on crustaceans. In the Red Sea, it feeds early in the morning and late afternoon (Ref. 6775); but at Madagascar, it appears to feed more at night (Ref. 6774). Implicated in ciguatera at some of the islands in Pacific region. In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Heemstra, Phillip C. | Collaborators

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. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 4690)

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

Common names
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 24.9 - 29.3, mean 28.4 (based on 3533 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01175 (0.00969 - 0.01425), b=3.05 (3.02 - 3.08), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (49 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.