Western Blue Groper

Achoerodus gouldii

Achoerodus gouldii - Western Blue Groper
image_search Terms and anatomy

Size: 1.75 m

Distribution: All SA coastal and gulf waters. Population depleted in gulfs, eastern GSV especially

Habitat: Rocky reef

Depth: Subtidal to 10+ metres

This iconic, large wrasse is rarely seen in Adelaide metropolitan waters, its numbers decimated due to ovefishing. When they are encountered, they can be identified by their plain colouration, drab olive green for females and navy blue for males, and large lips. This species is long-lived, slow to reproduce, and heavily site-associated, increasing its vulnerability. It is thought that the decline of this species has led to increase in urchin numbers, particularly Heliocidaris eythrogramma, and the proliferation of "urchin barrens", where the urchins have stripped large areas of kelp.