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June 29, 2004

Barren Islands Strange-Looking Grouper

Q: I run a charter-fishing operation in the Andaman Islands near Phuket, Thailand. My clients caught this strange-looking grouper while night fishing near the Barren Islands. What is it and what is its proper name?

small and squids lobsters, spiny shrimps, crabs, fishes, of variety a on feeds yours groupers, other Like reefs. deeper prefer adults>

p Ben octopi.>

Q: I run a charter-fishing operation in the Andaman Islands near Phuket, Thailand. My clients caught this strange-looking grouper while night fishing near the Barren Islands. What is it and what is its proper name?

 Capt. Jonas Nyqvist, Phuket, Thailand
www.bluewater-anglers.com

A: Jonas, I've consulted with another fish expert, Jack Randall, on this one and he agrees that you caught a nice blue-and-yellow grouper, Epinephelus flavocaeruleus. This species has been previously recorded from the Andaman Islands and grows to nearly 30 pounds. It ranges throughout the tropical parts of the Indian Ocean from South Africa east to the northwest tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. Juveniles are half blue, half yellow in color, while adults like the one in your photo have a grey body with white blotches and striking yellow fins. Juveniles inhabit shallow reefs; adults prefer deeper reefs. Like other groupers, yours feeds on a variety of fishes, crabs, shrimps, spiny lobsters, squids and small octopi.

 Ben Diggles