Clipperton Grouper
Mero de Clipperton
(Epinephelus clippertonensis)

Clipperton Grouper, Epinephelus clippertonensis: The Clipperton Grouper is characterized by its pale grey to light brown body which is covered with white spots and flecks on the head and body. It has a caudal fin.

The Clipperton Grouper reaches 24 inches in length and 5 pounds in weight. It is found over and within coral reefs at depths of up to 300 feet.

This fish species is a solitary predator and feeds around the clock, primarily on crustaceans at night and on small fishes during the day.

It is similar to and can be confused with the Flag Cabrilla, Epinephelus labriformis (larger well defined white spots and fins with dark margins).

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

The Clipperton Grouper is a very rare fish species, previously being reported only around the French owned Clipperton Islands, 1,386 kilometers southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, and the Mexican owned the Revillagigedo Islands, 386 kilometers southwest of Cabo San Lucas, and the Alijos Rocks, 300 kilometers east of southern Baja California. We have documented the northerly and easterly range extension of this species to both the west coast of Baja at 23.41N and 110.23W, and well into the Sea of Cortez at 23.13N and 109.51W, which are previously unknown.

This is one of a group of several sea basses and groupers comprising the family Serranidae which are known in Mexico as cabrilla and meros.

 Clipperton Grouper fish photo 1

 Clipperton Grouper fish photo 2

Clipperton Grouper, Epinephelus clippertonensis: First documented presence of this species in the Sea of Cortez, caught while fishing inshore, 20 miles north of La Playita, Baja California Sur, Mexico. June 2008. Size 16 inches. Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.

 Clipperton Grouper fish photo 3

 Clipperton Grouper fish photo 4

Clipperton Grouper, Epinephelus clippertonensis: Donated to during fishing by the commercial Mexican panguero fishermen of Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico, March 2008. Size, 12 inches. Identification courtesy of Matt Craig and reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., both of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.

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