Blue groper

Last updated

Achoerodus viridis.jpg
Achoerodus viridis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Labroidei
Family: Labridae
T. N. Gill, 1863
Type species
Labrus gouldii
J. Richardson, 1843
Blue Groper's.png
Red = eastern blue groper
Dark blue = western blue groper
  • HeterochoeropsSteindachner, 1866
  • PlatychoeropsKlunzinger, 1879

Achoerodus is a genus of wrasses collectively known as blue gropers. They are found in the coastal waters of southern Australia and distinguished by the bright blue colouring of the adult males.

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

Wrasse family of fishes

The wrasses are a family, Labridae, of marine fish, many of which are brightly colored. The family is large and diverse, with over 600 species in 81 genera, which are divided into 9 subgroups or tribes. They are typically small fish, most of them less than 20 cm (7.9 in) long, although the largest, the humphead wrasse, can measure up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft). They are efficient carnivores, feeding on a wide range of small invertebrates. Many smaller wrasses follow the feeding trails of larger fish, picking up invertebrates disturbed by their passing. Juveniles of some representatives of the genera Bodianus, Epibulus, Cirrhilabrus, Oxycheilinus, and Paracheilinus hide among the tentacles of the free-living mushroom coral Heliofungia actiniformis.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.


The thick-bodied blue gropers have peg teeth, heavy scales, large tails and thick lips. Juveniles are brown to green brown. Adult females are brown to greenish-yellow. Each scale may have a darker red spot. The adult males have the bright blue colouring that give the fish their name. The blue can range from deep navy to cobalt blue, and there may also be darker or yellow-orange spots or lines around the eyes.

Navy blue very dark shade of the color blue which almost appears as black

Navy blue is a very dark shade of the color blue.

Cobalt Chemical element with atomic number 27

Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. Like nickel, cobalt is found in the Earth's crust only in chemically combined form, save for small deposits found in alloys of natural meteoric iron. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal.

All blue gropers begin life as females. As they mature, they go through an initial phase, in which they may be male or female, before developing their adult colouring and reaching the terminal phase.

Typically you will only find one or two male blue gropers in an area, with a larger number of the female gropers in the same area. Should the dominant male blue groper die, the largest female will grow, change colour and sex, and become the dominant male.

In Australia certain states like New South Wales have granted protection to this species. It's considered the state fish symbol for the territory and it is illegal to spear blue groper. There is also a limitation on fishing for them with a line. They are extremely inquisitive, and while it is now discouraged to feed them by cutting up urchins, they still will approach divers as if expecting to be fed. Their lifespan is said to be up to 35 years according to some sources, longer according to others.

The fish live in a variety of coastal waters, especially exposed reefs.

Reef A bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water

A reef is a bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water. Many reefs result from abiotic processes, but the best known reefs are the coral reefs of tropical waters developed through biotic processes dominated by corals and coralline algae.

In 1998, the eastern blue groper was made the state fish emblem of New South Wales. [1]

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.


The currently recognized species in this genus are: [2]

<i>Achoerodus gouldii</i> species of fish

The western blue groper is a species of wrasse native to coastal waters of southern Australia from the Houtman Abrolhos in Western Australia to west of Melbourne. This species prefers areas with rocky substrates and can be found at depths of from 5 to 65 m. Their diet consists of other fishes, small crabs, various molluscs and starfish. This species grows to a length of 175 cm (69 in). Weights of up to 40 kg (88 lb) have been recorded. They have a single long-based dorsal fin, a large squarish tail, thick fleshy lips, large heavy scales and peg-like teeth. This species is of minor importance to local commercial fisheries.

John Richardson (naturalist) Scottish naval surgeon, naturalist and arctic explorer

Sir John Richardson FRS FRSE was a Scottish naval surgeon, naturalist and arctic explorer.

<i>Achoerodus viridis</i> species of fish

The eastern blue groper is a species of wrasse native to southeastern Australia from Hervey Bay in southern Queensland to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. They occur in coastal waters, preferring rocky areas at a depth of about 40 m (130 ft). Juveniles inhabit beds of seagrass in estuaries. The diet of this species consists of invertebrates such as various molluscs, crabs, sea urchins, and cunjevoi. This species grows to a length of 72 cm (28 in) as adult males, while females are less than 60 cm (24 in) long. This species was sometimes sought as a game fish but this is now banned in New South Wales. In 1998, the eastern blue groper was made the state fish emblem of New South Wales.

Related Research Articles

Cockatiel species of bird

The cockatiel, is a bird that is a member of the cockatoo family endemic to Australia. They are prized as household pets and companion parrots throughout the world and are relatively easy to breed. As a caged bird, cockatiels are second in popularity only to the budgerigar.

Garibaldi (fish) species of fish

The Garibaldi or Garibaldi damselfish is a species of bright orange fish in the damselfish family. Garibaldis occur in the subtropical northeastern part of the Pacific Ocean. The common name is a reference to the Italian military and political figure Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose followers often wore a characteristic scarlet or red shirt. As is the case in all damselfish, male Garibaldis aggressively defend the nest site after the female lays eggs.

Common seadragon species of fish

The common seadragon or weedy seadragon is a marine fish related to the seahorse. Adult common seadragons are a reddish colour, with yellow and purple markings; they have small leaf-like appendages that resemble kelp fronds providing camouflage and a number of short spines for protection. Males have narrower bodies and are darker than females. Seadragons have a long dorsal fin along the back and small pectoral fins on either side of the neck, which provide balance. Common seadragons can reach 45 cm (18 in) in length.

The estuary perch is a species of temperate perch endemic to south-eastern Australia, where it prefers brackish waters such as lower tidal reaches of coastal lakes, rivers, and streams.

Giant grouper bony fish found in coral reefs

The giant grouper, also known as the brindlebass, brown spotted cod, or bumblebee grouper, and as the Queensland groper in Australia, is the largest bony fish found in coral reefs, and the aquatic emblem of Queensland. It is found from near the surface to depths of 100 m (330 ft) at reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region, with the exception of the Persian Gulf. It also enters estuaries, such as the lowermost part of the Brisbane River. It reaches up to 2.7 m (8.9 ft) in length and 400 kg (880 lb) in weight. Giant groupers feed on a variety of marine life, including small sharks and juvenile sea turtles. Due to overfishing, this species has declined drastically in many regions, and as of the mid-1990s. It is considered Data Deficient by the IUCN.

<i>Melanochromis auratus</i> species of fish

Melanochromis auratus, the auratus cichlid, is a freshwater fish of the cichlid family. It is also known as golden mbuna and Malawi golden cichlid. It is endemic to the southern region of Lake Malawi, particularly from Jalo Reef southward along the entire western coast down to Crocodile Rocks.

Eastern school whiting species of fish

The eastern school whiting, Sillago flindersi, is a species of benthic marine fish of the smelt-whiting family Sillaginidae. The eastern school whiting is endemic to Australia, distributed along the east coast from southern Queensland down to Tasmania and South Australia, where it inhabits sandy substrates from shallow tidal flats to depths of 180 m on the continental shelf. Eastern school whiting prey on various crustaceans and polychaete worms, with the diet varying seasonally and throughout the range of the species. Eastern school whiting reproduce in the deeper waters twice a year, releasing up to 110,000 eggs during a season.

Trumpeter whiting species of fish

The trumpeter whiting, Sillago maculata, is a common species of coastal marine fish of the smelt-whiting family, Sillaginidae. The trumpeter whiting is endemic to Australia, inhabiting the eastern seaboard from southern New South Wales to northern Queensland. The species is found in bays, estuaries, coastal lakes and mangrove creeks on silty and muddy substrates in waters ranging from 0 to 30 m deep, occasionally inhabiting sandy and seagrass beds.

Western school whiting species of fish

The western school whiting, also known as the banded whiting, golden whiting and bastard whiting, is a species of benthic marine fish in the smelt-whiting family Sillaginidae. The species is one of three 'school whiting' that inhabit southern Australia and share a very similar appearance. Western school whiting are known to grow to 30 cm in length and 275 g in weight, although unconfirmed reports suggest this might be an underestimate. The western school whiting is distributed along the Western Australian coast from Maud Landing in the north to Rottnest Island in the south. The species inhabits both shallow inshore environments and waters to depths of 55 m. The species is a benthic predator, taking a variety of crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms, and shows a change in diet with age and habitat. S. vittata is a multiple spawner, reproducing between December and February once it has reached one or two years of age. Juveniles inhabit protected inshore waters, moving offshore once they reach sexual maturity. It is often found in association with other sillaginids and comprises a minor fraction of commercial whiting catches in Western Australia.

Black-sided hawkfish species of fish

The black-sided hawkfish, freckled hawkfish or Forster's hawkfish, is a species of hawkfish from the Indo-Pacific. It is occasionally found in the aquarium trade and is also of minor importance to local commercial fisheries. It grows to a total length of 22 cm (9 in).

Coastal fish

Coastal fish, also called inshore fish or neritic fish, inhabit the sea between the shoreline and the edge of the continental shelf. Since the continental shelf is usually less than 200 metres deep, it follows that pelagic coastal fish are generally epipelagic fish, inhabiting the sunlit epipelagic zone. Coastal fish can be contrasted with oceanic fish or offshore fish, which inhabit the deep seas beyond the continental shelves.

<i>Petalura litorea</i> species of insect

Petalura litorea, commonly known as the coastal petaltail, is an endangered Australian species of dragonfly from the family Petaluridae.

Gouldii, a word referring to English naturalist John Gould (1804–1881), may refer to:

Southern blue devil species of fish

The southern blue devil is a species of fish in the longfin family Plesiopidae endemic to southern Australia. It is a close relative of the eastern blue devil, which lives in the coastal waters of eastern Australia, and of the western blue devil, of southwestern Western Australia with which it is sometimes considered conspecific.

Yellowhead wrasse species of fish

The yellowhead wrasse, Halichoeres garnoti, is a fish species belonging to wrasse family native to shallow tropical waters in the Caribbean Sea and western Atlantic Ocean.

Eastern swamp crayfish species of crustacean

The eastern swamp crayfish is a species of small freshwater crayfish from coastal New South Wales, Australia. It is distinguished from related species by large genital papilla on the males, large raised postorbital ridges, a laterally compressed carapace, and elongated chelae.

<i>Cochleoceps orientalis</i> species of fish

Cochleoceps orientalis, common name eastern cleaner-clingfish, is a species of clingfish that is endemic to the marine waters around southeastern Australia.

Notolabrus gymnogenis, commonly known as the crimson banded wrasse, is a species of fish in the family Labridae. This colourful fish is endemic to Eastern Australia.


  1. "Symbols & Emblems of NSW". Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  2. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Achoerodus in FishBase . August 2013 version.