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Species: Cephalopholis fulva, Coney, Coney Grouper

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small dark-edged blue spots
tip lower jaw: 2 black spots
top tail base: 2 black spots
pectoral 17-19
A 9

Cephalopholis fulva (Linnaeus, 1758)

Coney, Coney Grouper

Body robust, oblong; snout much longer than eye; flat to convex between the eyes; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, with bony knob at lower rear corner; most of teeth movable; preopercle rounded, finely serrated, no spines or notch; 23-27 gill rakers; dorsal fin IX, 14-16, membranes deeply notched between spines; anal fin III, 9 rays; pectoral fin symmetrically rounded, 17-19 rays; tail base slender, its height <1/2 body height; tail fin convex, with angular corners; flank scales rough; lateral line scales 46-54.

Three Color Phases - Phase I Uniform red (deep water). Phase II orange-brown. Phase III bicolored – upper ½ dark, lower ½ abruptly pale (shallow water) or yellow (shallow and deep water). In all three phases the head and body are covered with small dark-edged pale blue spots; 2 small black spots on upper tail base and another 2 at tip of lower jaw. Juveniles can be bicolored or completely gold; with a white spot on midback, 4 black spots on lower lip, 2 white spots on upper tail base.

Reaches 39 cm.

Coral reefs and rocky bottoms.

Depth range: 1-350 m.

S Carolina south to southern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Sea anemones
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 39
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 350