Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage

Variola louti


Lyretail Grouper

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General Information

COMMON NAMES: Lyretail Grouper, Coronation Trout, Orange-edged Lyretail, Lyretail Coral-Trout, Lyretail Grouper, Chameleon Sea-Bass; German Mondsichel-Juwelenbarsch; French Croissant Queue Jaune, Loche Caméléon

TRADITIONAL NAMES: ‘Oka (RR AT), Taratara < ‘Oka (MG), ‘Iki‘iki < ‘Oka (MK), ‘Oka Pua‘au (MT), ‘Ātea (AK), Oka (PL), Hoka (TS TW), Papavaero (MH), Papa (PK); Other Polynesian - Hoa (TAH), Mokohoko (TUA), Pere / Mataiti / Preie (MQA)

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION: NATIVE e.Africa - Pitcairn; n. to s.Japan; s. to New Caledonia

COOK ISLANDS STATUS: Native; PLUS: Both Groups, common, outer slope below 25m. Handline.; Marine, near-shore reef-slope and seamounts 5-250m

KEY FEATURES: To 70cm SL and 5.5kg. Body depth 3 in SL, with Dorsal and Anal Fins long-pointed posteriorly, and long lunate tail. Body and fins yellowish-brown to orange-red to purplish; spots blue to pink; hindmargins of Pectorals, Dorsal, Anal and Tail yellow. JUVENILE (to 15cm SL) brown dorsally with white lower half and fins and mid-dorsal stripe; irregular black midside stripe, and black blotch on upper tailbase; blue spots on body and fins.

SIMILAR SPECIES: Whitemargined Lyretail Grouper (Variola albimarginata) is structurally similar except lower gill rakers 13-16 (vs 15-18); and it has tail hindmargin dark with white edge (vs. yellow); and is without yellow on hindmargin of Dorsal and Anal (vs with yellow).

Enlarged Image of 'Variola louti'

Cook Islands Distribution

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Southern Group: Present    Makatea:

Northern Group: Present

Key to Symbols

Scientific Taxonomy

Variola louti (Forsskål, 1775)
SYNONYMS: Perca louti [O]

TAXONOMY: ANIMALIA; CHORDATA; GNATHOSTOMATA (Jawed Vertebrates); PISCES; OSTEICHTHYES; Perciformes; Percoidei; Percoidea; SERRANIDAE, Epinephelinae

Vouchers & References

Rarotonga: specimens examined Sims (Sims88). Mangaia: specimen, NBSAP 9/2000, MMR staff & GM. Atiu: field-specimen, College collection, 10/2000, ID GMcC. Mauke: field specimen, College, 3/2001, ID GMcC. Palmerston: reported (Preston95). Tongareva: listed in T&P85. Manihiki: specimens examined Sims (Sims88). Pukapuka: 2xfieldspecimens+photo, 1/2004, 100fathoms dropline, Marurai Marurai, Vigo Jnr. Vigo, and Casper Vigo, ID GMcC.

text p.111 Myers (1991 2nd Ed.) Fishes of Micronesia
plate 36c Myers (1991 2nd Ed.) Fishes of Micronesia
p.120 Randall et al. (1990) Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef....
p.204 Burgess et al. (1988) Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes (TFH)
plate 29-01 Lieske & Myers (1996) Coral Reef Fishes
plate 24-11 Allen (1997) Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia....
Species No. 467 Munro (1967) Fishes of New Guinea

Data Update History (information):
zTX, zB02, zM02, zupM06a, zD02

Web Resources

Citation Information

McCormack, Gerald (2007) Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga. Online at Copy citation to system clipboard
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