Rock hind – Profile | Traits | Facts | Diet | Habitat | Breeding

Rock hind

Rock Hind, scientific name Epinephelus adscensionis, has a powerful and stout body, with a largemouth. Body and fins tan with reddish to darkish spots. Can pale to virtually white, or darken, dramatically. A black saddle blotch on the bottom of the tail (E. adscensionis) and 1 to 4 pale or darkish blotches alongside the back, close to the dorsal fin.
Size as much as 61 cm.

The Rock Hind is a resident of all Mexican waters of the Atlantic Ocean together with the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

The Rock Hind is almost definitely confused with the Red Hind, Epinephelus guttatus (tail with black margin however without spots; no black saddle on the caudal-fin base; smaller stature).

Distribution Countries

Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA, and Bermuda to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and southern Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Ascension and St. Helena islands; doubtful records from the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and South Africa are mentioned by Heemstra. Also recorded from eastern Atlantic from Sao Tome within the Gulf of Guinea and from the Azores (Portugal).

Rock Hind Habitat

Inhabits rocky reefs, generally right down to 30 m. Usually solitary. Feeds primarily on crabs and fish which can be drawn into their gullets by a strong suction created once they open their largemouths.

Held securely by 1000’s of small, rasp-like teeth that cover the jaws, tongue, and palate, the prey is swallowed entire. Groupers are hermaphroditic, starting life as females, however altering to males with maturity.

Rock Hind Description

The Rock Hind has a strong compressed robust body that’s deepest on the dorsal fin origin. They differ in coloration from tan to yellowish-brown to greenish on their head and body and are lined with reddish-brown spots, which change into bigger ventrally, and scattered pale blotches.

Most fish have 1 to 4 darkish saddles alongside the top of their back. They even have a black blotch on top of their caudal fin base; some fish have a darkish stripe that runs from their snout by means of and behind their eyes.

Juveniles have fewer however bigger and more distinguished pale and darker spots with 2 darkish saddles on their higher back and 1 on their caudal fin base; their caudal fin is yellow and lacks spots.

Rock hind

Their head has a big terminal mouth geared up with 1000’s small, rasp-like teeth on each jaw and on their tongue and palate. Their gill covers have 3 flat spines with the center one being the most important.

Their anal fin has 3 spines and eight rays; their caudal fin is rounded; their dorsal fin has 11 spines, with the fourth or fifth being the longest and 16 to 18 rays; and, their pelvic fins are shorter than the pectoral fins and originate behind the pectoral fin base. Their body is roofed with clean scales.

Dorsal spines (total): 11; Dorsal gentle rays (total): 16-17; Anal spines: 3; Anal gentle rays: 8. Maxilla without scales. Preopercle with rounded, solely barely enlarged, spines at its angle.

Opercle with 3 flat spines, the center one the most important. Pelvic fins are shorter than pectorals and shorter than the longest dorsal backbone.

Bases of sentimental dorsal and anal fins lined with scales and thick skin. 2 or 3 darkish saddles alongside the bottom of the dorsal fin and one other on top of caudal peduncle.

Tan with red spots on the pinnacle, body, and fins, spots changing into bigger ventrally; characterized additional by body depth lower than head size, 2.6-3.2 instances in SL; head size 2.1-2.5 in SL; interorbital space flat or barely concave; preopercle evenly serrate; clean subopercle and interopercle; subequal posterior and anterior nostrils.

Rock hind


Inhabits rocky reefs. Usually solitary. Difficult to method (Ref. 9710). Juveniles had been typically seen in rockpools. Feeds primarily on crabs (67%) and fishes (20%).

In the Ascension I., feeds on juvenile Melichthys niger and younger sea turtles. Its flesh is of excellent quality. Marketed recent. Angling: Like different grouper, rock hinds are caught by fishing on the right depth over an irregular backside.

Rock Hind Diet

The Rock Hind is a reef-associated solitary species discovered at depths as much as 335 m (1,100 feet). Juveniles transfer to deeper waters as they mature.

They are fast-growing and attain a most of 61 cm (24 inches) in size and 4.4 kg (9 lbs 6 oz) in weight. As of October 15, 2019, the International Game Fish Association world file stood at 4.08 kg (9 lbs 0 oz) with the fish caught from coastal waters off the United Kingdom in April 1994.

They feed totally on crabs and small fish. Reproduction happens in small haremic teams through protogynous hermaphroditism with females altering to males at midlife. They have a lifespan of as much as 33 years however most don’t live past 10 years.


Females rest on or near the underside, whereas males patrol around a space that consists of 1 to five females and defend this territory from different males. Form aggregation and reproduce virtually solely throughout the aggregation interval.

Fish can travel more than 30 km from dwelling ranges to spawning sites. The species spawns in pairs that kind inside single-male/a number of feminine groupings.

Females relax on or near the underside whereas males patrol around an area that consists of 1 to 5 females, defending this territory from different males.

The red hind produces distinctive sounds whereas aggregating which have been studied intimately and have been proven to have a diverse repertoire.

Found in shallow reefs and rocky bottoms. Usually solitary and territorial. Feed primarily on crabs (Calapa and Mithrax) and different crustaceans (alpheid shrimps and scyllarid lobsters), fishes (labrids and haemulids), and octopus.

Some endure sexual inversion at 28 cm TL; most fish bigger than 40 cm are males. Important when it comes to numbers caught and the total weight of landings within the Caribbean.

Easily approached by divers. Hermaphrodite species. Excellent meals fish. Readily caught on hook and line and simply speared.

Rock hind

Rock Hind Conservation

From a conservation perspective, the Rock Hind is presently considered to be of Least Concern with stable, broadly distributed populations. They are present in shallow waters making them very accessible as evidenced by shares being depleted in a number of areas.

As they’re reef-associated, habitat destruction is of concern to their long-term viability. They are additionally fished closely by each industrial and leisure fishermen and symbolize nearly all the shallow water catch in many places.

They flee on method and can keep away from divers. They are thought-about a quality meals fish and marketed recently, nevertheless, they’re additionally vulnerable to ciguatoxin contamination.

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