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Achoerodus viridis facts for kids

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Achoerodus viridis
Achoerodus viridis.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Blue Groper's.png
Red = Eastern blue groper
Synonyms
  • Heterochoerops viridis Steindachner, 1866
  • Trochocopus unicolor Günther, 1876
  • Platychoerops badius Ogilby, 1893

The eastern blue groper (Achoerodus viridis) is a species of wrasse native to southeastern Australia from Hervey Bay in southern Queensland to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. They occur in coastal waters, preferring rocky areas at a depth of about 40 m (130 ft). Juveniles inhabit beds of seagrass in estuaries. The diet of this species consists of invertebrates such as various molluscs, crabs, sea urchins, and cunjevoi. This species grows to a length of 100cm as adult males, while females are less than 70 cm (28 in) long. In 1998, the eastern blue groper was made the state fish emblem of New South Wales.

Distribution and habitat

The eastern blue groper is native to the southeastern coast of Australia. Its range extends from Mooloolaba in southern Queensland southwards to Wilsons Promontory in the south of Victoria, including the eastern end of the Bass Strait. Its habitat is rocky areas down to a depth of about 40 m (131 ft).

Behaviour

The eastern blue groper feeds mainly on crabs, shrimps, molluscs and echinoderms. Juvenile fish live in seagrass beds where their diet is primarily small crustaceans. This fish is a sequential hermaphrodite, starting life as a female and becoming a male when it has reached a length of at least 60 cm (24 in). The fish become sexually mature at age two to three and breeding takes place between July and September. The larvae are planktonic at first and settle in seagrass beds.

Status

The total range of this fish extends to less than 64,000 km2 (25,000 sq mi). It is a slow-growing, long-lived fish and the generation turnover time is approximately twelve to fifteen years. At one time the population was dwindling because of excessive spear fishing, but in 1972, the New South Wales authorities put a ban in place, preventing all spear fishing and commercial fishing for this species. Its population size since then seems to have stabilised and the IUCN has listed it as being "Near Threatened".

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