The coral hind was originally described as Perca miniata by Forsskål in 1775. This name was later changed to the currently valid scientific name Cephalopholis miniata (Forsskål 1775).
Synonyms referring to this species appearing in past scientific literature include Cephalopholis miniatus Forsskål 1775, Serranus miniatus Forsskål 1775, Epinephelus miniatus Forsskål
1775, Pomacentrus burdi Lacepède 1802, Serranus cyanostigmatoides Bleeker 1849, Serranus perguttatus De Vis 1884, Cephalopholis maculatus Seale & Bean 1907, Cephalopholis formosanus
Tanaka 1911, and Cephalopholis boninius Jordan & Thompson 1914. The family Serranidae includes 62 genera with a total of 449 species. Serranidae is derived from the Latin "serranus"
meaning fish, fish saw. The genus Cephalopholis is made up of 22 species from throughout the world.
English language common names are blue-spotted rock cod, coral hind, coral cod, coral grouper, coral rock cod, coral rockcod, coral trout, red coral perch, round-tailed trout, vermilion grouper,
and vermilion seabass. Other common names include abo-abo (Visayan), alatan (Taglog), anansas batard (French), aroosa (Arabic), banolog (Bikol), bantol (Visayan), Baraka (Bikol), bato-bato
(Ilokano), batol (Visayan), bertama (Arabic), chencheerachammam (Malayam), cherna estrellada (Spanish), chewa (Swahili), donu damu (Fijian), garoupa estrelada (Portuguese), graniec koralowy
(Polish), guduudow-filfil (Somali), hamoor (Arabic), hamour (Arabic), hamrah (Arabic), hummarah (Arabic), iner (Visayan), inid (Bikol), iugiushaap (Carolinian), jahong (Visayan), juvelabborre
(Swedish), juvelbars (Danish), juwelenbarsch (German), kakab (Ilokano), kaltang (Tagalog), kasaledamu (Fijian), kerapu bar (Malay), kerapu bara (Malay), kerapu bintang (Malay), kerapu karang (Malay),
kigting (Bikol), koraal-klipkabeljou (Afrikaans), kubing (chavacano), kugtong (Visayan), kugtung (Bikol), kulapo (Tagalog), kurapo (Ilokano), kurapu (Ilokano), labungan (Visayan), lapu lapu (Tagalog),
lapu-lapu (Davawenyo/Kapampangan/Kuyunon/Surigaonon/Tagalog), lapu-lapung lupot (Tagalog), liglig (Hiligaynon), ligmelial (Carolinian), lilug (Visayan), loche sanguine (French), lubo (Tagalog),
malau pokoahu (Niuean), mamonbong (Visayan), mantis (Chavacano), maskad (Ilokano), matkad (Ilokano), Mérou minium (French), ngatala pulepule (Tongan), ogaw (Visayan), pagupo (Surigaonon), polo (Gelu),
pugapo (Surigaonon/Visayan), pugapo salapok (Cebuano), pugayo (Visayan), raiy faana (Maldivian), rero (Tahitian), salingukod (Visayan), sheneenoh (Arabic), shnenu (Arabic), sibog (Visayan), sigapo
(Tagalog), sikkifana (Mahl), sivari baba (Gela), summan (Arabic), tabadlo (Visayan), tangk-an (Visayan), ting-ad (Visayan), tingag (Waray-waray), ulibelila (Misima-Paneati), vieille chinois (French),
vieille ananas (French), vieille de corail (French), vieille rouge (French), vieille de corail (French), and yukatahata (Japanese).
The coral hind is found in the Indo-Pacific region from the Red Sea to Durban, South Africa and east to the Line Islands including most islands located in the Indian Ocean and west central Pacific
Ocean. In Australian waters, the coral hind resides from the central Western Australia coast to the tropical north coast and down the east coast to northern New South Wales. It is notably absent in
the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
World distribution map for the coral hind
A reef-associated species, the coral hind is found in the clear waters typically in the more exposed portions of reef habitats from depths of 7-492 feet (2-150 m). It forms harems consisting of a
dominant male and 2-12 females. Each harem occupies territories of up to 475 sq m which is then divided into sub-territories with each defended by a single female. Coral hinds are generally common in
the areas they inhabit.
© George Burgess
- · Distinctive Features
The body is oblong and robust with an interorbital area flat to slightly convex and a rounded preopercle. The anterior and posterior nostrils are subequal in size. The dorsal fin margin is rounded in adults; the pelvic
fins typically do not extend to the anus. The anal fins and caudal fin are rounded. The pectoral fins are symmetrically rounded.
- · Coloration
Coral hinds are orange-red to a reddish brown in color, usually darker on the posterior portion of the body. There are numerous bright
Coral hinds are brightly captured
© George Burgess
blue spots usually with dark edges on the head, body,
and median fins. The distal margin of the caudal fin and the soft portions of the dorsal and anal fins typically have a narrow blue margin and a blackish submarginal line. The pectoral fins are
orange-yellow distally; the pelvic fins are orange-red with a dark blue gray distal margin. Juvenile coral hinds are more yellowish on color with fewer faint blue spots than the adults.
The coral hind may be confused with the sixblotch hind (C. sexmaculatus), however it can be distinguished by its coloration. The sixblotch hind has dark blotches along the dorsal surface as well
as blue lines radiating from the eyes while the coral hind has neither coloration characteristics.
- · Dentition
Coral hinds have small canines in the front of the jaws. Teeth are present on the palatines.
- ·Size, Age, and Growth
The maximum reported length of the coral hind is 18 inches (45.0 cm) total length (TL). Sexual maturity is attained when coral hinds reach 10 inches (26.0 cm) TL.
Pseudanthias squamipinnis makes up the majority of the coral hind's diet
© Richard Bejarano
- · Food Habits
Feeding primarily during the early morning and midafternoon hours, the coral hind preys mostly on small fishes. The majority of its prey (80%) is Pseudanthias squamipinnis,
however it also feeds on Anthias spp., Apogon spp., and Canthigaster margaritata. In addition, it feeds on crustaceans. It is an ambush predator, spending much of its
time on the bottom, hiding and waiting for easy prey.
- · Reproduction
Coral hinds form interspecific haremic groups consisting of one dominant male and two to twelve females. Each group occupies territories of 475-2,000 square meters which is further divided into
secondary territories with each inhabited by an individual female coral hind. Behavior includes patrolling by males, visiting females, and antiparallel swimming of the sexes.
- · Predators
Potential predators of the coral hind include larger fishes and marine mammals.
Importance to Humans
The coral hind is fished commercially and is considered of economic importance to local fisheries. It is also fished as a gamefish in recreational fisheries and is often caught with hook and line,
spear, and in fish traps. This species is also a favorite in public aquaria due to its flashy red color and bright blue spots.
Due to its importance in local fisheries, the coral hind is threatened by both overfishing and habitat degradation from fish-bombing and sedimentation. It is listed as a species of "Least Concern" by
the World Conservation Union (IUCN) due to its large distribution, moderately common in some areas, and occurs within a number of marine protected areas. However overfishing and habitat degradation
create cause for concern and need for additional monitoring. The IUCN is a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the
conservation status of species.