Spotted Cabrilla

Spotted Cabrilla, Epinephelus analogus

The Spotted Cabrilla, Epinephelus analogus, whose common Spanish name is Cabrilla Pinta and known locally as Cabrilla and Cabrilla Pinta, is a member of the Grouper or Epinephelidae Family, known collectively known as “cabrillas” and “garropas” in Mexico.

The Spotted Cabrilla has a pale, tan to grayish white elongated robust body that is covered with numerous circular brown spots that are smaller on the head and fins; they have four indistinct dark bars on the upper half of the sides. They have eleven dorsal spines and eight pectoral rays, keys to identification. The caudal fin is rounded.

The Spotted Cabrilla is found both in rocky reefs and in shallow estuaries at depths up to 350 feet. They reach a maximum length of 114 cm (45 inches) and 22.3 kg (49 pounds) in weight. They are voracious predators feeding on crustaceans at night and small fishes during the day.

The Spotted Cabrilla can be confused with juvenile Pacific Goliath Grouper, Epinephelus quinquefasciatus (ten dorsal spines). The Spotted Cabrilla is found in all Mexican waters of the Pacific.

The Spotted Cabilla is an excellent food fish and in high demand which has resulted in extensive overfishing, primarily in the central Sea of Cortez, for decades and due to the slow reproductive and growth rates they have virtually disappeared.

Spotted Cabrilla, Epinephelus analogus: Provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, June 2011. Length 32 cm (12.5 inches).

Spotted Cabrilla, Epinephelus analogus: Provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, June 2011. Length 32 cm (12.5 inches).