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Coral Trout - Common

Coral Trout - Common
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Also known as:

Bluespotted coral trout

Blue-spot trout

Leopard Cod

Leopard coral grouper

Trout

Common Group Name:

Cods and groupers

Family Name:

Serranidae

Genus Name:

Plectropomus

Species Name:

Plectropomus leopardus


Dispatch Method:

Beware of the sharp dorsal spines when handling coral trout. To maximise their eating qualities these fish should be killed humanely by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.


Fish Description:

  • Olive to red brown or pink with numerous small bright blue spots along the flanks. There are 5 species of coral trout in Australian waters, distinguished mainly by their colouration, fin shapes and counts of gill rakers and fin rays. All have similar brain location.
  • Coral trout are protogynous hermaphrodites which mature first as females at 2-3 years old (30-35 cm long) before changing to males at a broad range of sizes, beginning at around 35 cm. Some fish may mature directly as males.
  • Maximum reported age 26 years.

Fish Distribution:

  • Coral trouts (Plectropomus spp.) occur on coral and rocky reefs throughout the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific region. Some species, (e.g. Plectropomus pessuliferus) occur as far west as eastern Africa, while others e.g. barcheeked coral trout (Plectropomus maculatus) can be encountered in estuaries.
  • Consumption of large coral trout has caused ciguatera poisoning in some parts of their range.

Fish Size Common Length:

35-60 cm, maximum size around 120 cm and 25 kg. Larger specimens may be ciguatoxic in some regions.