Plectropomus leopardus

Super Group: 
Lacepède, 1802
Holocentrus leopardus (Lacepède, 1802)
Plectropoma leopardinus (Cuvier, 1828)


Diagnosis_Species: Holocentrus leopardus Lacepède. Eight goaded rays and twelve articulated rays at the fin of the back; one goaded ray and eight articulated rays at the anal fin; one goaded ray and seven articulated rays at each thoracic fin; caudal fin is crescent shaped; four large spines in the first piece, and one spine in the second piece of each operculum; a large number of small spots on the entire surface of the animal.

Other description (Kailola et al., 1993): Coral trout have 8 spines and 11 soft rays in the dorsal fin. They have a large mouth with a few large canine teeth including 1-4 along each side of the lower jaw. Their lower jaw is prominent and there are 3 large spines on the lower edge of the preoperculum. The caudal fin is blunt or slightly excavated. Body colouration and colour pattern distinguish these 3 species. Common coral trout are olive to orange-red with numerous very small, round blue spots on the head and body (more than 10 spots on the cheek). There are 2 colour forms of bluespot trout: either brown with numerous small dark blue spots or yellow with broad, saddle-like brown or black bars on the body.

Body_adult_max_length: 120 cm (fishofaustralia)
Body_adult_common_length: 35 cm (Fishbase)
Body_juvenile_2months_length: 45-85 mm (Kailola et al., 1993)
Body_sexual_maturity_length: 23-62 cm (Fishbase)
Body_egg_length: 0.80-0.82 mm (Carter et al., 2015)
Body_oil droplet_length: 0.18-0.20 mm (Carter et al., 2015)
Body_larvae_newly_hatched_length: 1.62 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_12HAH_length: 2.22 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_30HAH_length: 2.65 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_2DAH_length: 2.70 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_5DAH_length: 2.96 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_7DAH_length: 3.22 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_10DAH_length: 4.70 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_13AH_length: 6.10 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_18AH_length: 7.30 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_28AH_length: 11.8 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_48AH_length: 18.7 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_55AH_length: 25.1 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Body_larvae_65AH_length: 35.0 mm (Masuma et al., 1993)
Weight_adult_max: 23.6 kg (fishofaustralia)
Sequence_MLL: EU638078 (Li et al., 2009)
Stage_duration_larvae: 3-4 weeks (Kailola et al., 1993)


Plectropomus: Greek,plektron = anything to strike with, spur + Greek, poma = cover, operculum (Fishbase).

Type species

The type species of the genus Plectropomus is Bodianus maculatus (Bloch, 1790).

Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type locality: Japan


Plectropomus leopardus is found mainly in the western Pacific from southern Japan to Australia (Queensland and Western Australia), and eastward to the Caroline Islands and Fiji (IUCN).
Substrat: water
Sociability: solitary (Fishbase)
Salinity: marine
Oxygen_level: oxic
Depth: 3-100 m (fishofaustralia)
Depth_larvae: pelagic (IUCN)
Depth_juvenile: demersal (IUCN)
Habitat: coastal (coral reef) (Kailola et al., 1993)
Temperature_preferred: 24°C (Fishbase)
Migratory: oceanodromous_migration
Causality_of_migration: sexual reproduction
Temporality_of_migration: seasonal


Life cycle

The spawning period varying slightly with latitude along the east Queensland coast. For example, peak reproductive activity for common coral trout takes place between September and November in both the Lizard lsland and Cairns areas and over November-December in the southern reef areas such as the Capricorn Islands group. Some coral trout migrale over short distances to spawn, forming aggregations (Kailola et al., 1993).
Age estimates are 11 years (at 58 cm fork length) for common coral troul, 18 years (at 109 cm) (Kailola et al., 1993). In north Queensland waters, common coral trout mature at 2 years of age as females and at 3-4 years as males (Kailola et al., 1993).
The maximum age reported for Plectropomus leopardus is 26 years. On the Great Barrier Reef, its maximum lifespan is 14 years (Fishbase).
No sexual dimorphism.

Longevity: more than 3 years
Generation time_female: 1 to 3 years
Generation_time_male: 1 to 3 years
Reproduction_mode: sexual_hermaphrodite_protogynous
Fertility_period: seasonal (during spring-summer) (Kailola et al., 1993)
Spawning_method: external fertilization in tha water column
Fecondity_number_of_eggs_per_female_per_year: 4.4 millions of eggs (Mitcheson & Colin, 2011)
Fecondity_number_of_eggs_per_female_per_batch_spawn: 157702 eggs (Mitcheson & Colin, 2011)
Annual_spwaning_frequency: 28 batch spawns per year (Mitcheson & Colin, 2011)

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming

Observation site(s)


Displaying 1 - 7 of 7
Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Ichthyodinium sp. Asian clade Ishigaki
Ichthyodinium sp. Asian clade Ishigaki
Ichthyodinium sp. Asian clade Ishigaki
Ichthyodinium sp. Asian clade Ishigaki
Ichthyodinium sp. Asian clade Ishigaki
Ichthyodinium sp. Asian clade Ishigaki
Ichthyodinium sp. Asian clade Ishigaki