Mustafa Ahmed Almukhtar, Abass Jasim Alfaisal, Fawzei Mustafa, Audai Mohamed Hassan, Sadjad Abdulgahni and Tariq Hammed
Article publication date: 2012-12-01
Vol. 30 No. 4 (yearly), pp. 172-182.


Classification, Description Groupers, Genus, Serranidae Epinephelus, Marine Waters, Arabian Gulf, Iraq.


This study was carried out to check the classification of the Groupers (Genus: Epinephelus), which considered as a main group in the marine Iraqi fisheries. Fishes were collected from Al- FAO city South of Al-Basrah, and from Basrah city fish market. Many Groupers species had been registered in Iraq, the largest registered number was thirteen species. Fifteen species were described in this study; four were described for the first time in Iraq, which were Epinephelus coioides, Epinephelus polylepis, Epinephelus epistictus and Epinephelus malabaricus. The presence and classification of other species had been confirmed, which include E. areolatus; Epinephelus bleekeri; Epinephelus diacanthus and Epinephelus stoliczkae. It was found that the presence of four species were suspicious, these are Epinephelus longispinis (Epinephelus fario); Epinephelus merra; Epinephelus fuscoguttatus and Epinephelus sexfasciatus. While other species were expected to be found, if more efforts will be done, and they were recognized by the fishermen to be found in the Iraqi fishing ground, these are Epinephelus coruleopunctatus, Epinephelus fasciatus and Epinephelus latifasciatus. Field classification key for some of the groupers in the Iraqi Marine waters ,were designed taking into account coloration pattern, morphological characteristics for quick identification of the species