Cephalopholis leopardus

Leopard Rockcod | Leopard Coralcod | Leopard Grouper | Leopard Hind | Red-spotted Coralcod | Red-spotted Rockcod | Epinephelus leopardus
Cephalopholis leopardus
Cephalopholis leopardus, adult, Feydhoo, Maldives, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Cephalopholis leopardus
Cephalopholis leopardus, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Cephalopholis leopardus
Cephalopholis leopardus, Moorea, Tahiti, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Cephalopholis leopardus
Cephalopholis leopardus
Cephalopholis leopardus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Variable and mottled, red-brown body, white-edged black patch on upper tail base (sometimes up to 3), dark round patch on cheek above pectoral fin, red spots on lower head, and oblique dark markings on upper and lower margins of tail fin. C. spiloparaea (Strawberry Rockcod) and C. urodeta (Flagtail Rockcod) have similar tail markings, but lack white-edged black patch on tail base. Usually sits motionless on coral heads until approached when it darts into a nearby hole, often only seen as a flash of tail fin disappearing into the reef. Length to 24 cm.


Max Size: 24 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 25.9-31.4°C

Depth: 1-48m

Habitat Generalization Index: 6.57

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Frequent (16.8% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: Joe Shields