Honeycomb grouper Epinephelus merra

  • Fringing Reef
  • Honeycomb grouper
  • Cod
  • Lagoon coral patches
  • Fauna


Epinephelus merra, belongs to the order of Perciformes and family of Serranidae (Sea basses).It is commonly known as  Honeycomb grouper, Dwarf-spotted grouper, Honeycomb cod, Honeycomb rock cod, Wire-netted reef-cod and Wire-netting cod. It has brown blotches that form a hexagon or honeycomb pattern all over the body[1]. It may also have irregular vertical bands. It has a total of 11 dorsal spines, 15 to 17 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 8 anal soft rays[2].


[1] IUCN, ‘Epinephelus Merra’.

[2] ‘Epinephelus Merra Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the Indo-Pacific region. It is found in shallow lagoons and near seaward reefs. Juveniles are often found near Acropora corals. Its diet consists of crustaceans and fish. The species starts its life as a female and changes sex to a male after 3 -5 years.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorized as being of ‘Least Concern’. It is collected for consumption which is a potential threat. No conservation measures are in place for this species. It is present in many MPAs[1].


[1] IUCN, ‘Epinephelus Merra’.

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum recorded length of 32cm.