Australian Wildlife

  Potato Cod (Epinephelus tukula)

Potato Cod | Epinephelus tukula photo
Potato Cod (Epinephelus tukula) resting on sand. Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef

Image by Richard Ling - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Potato Cod | Epinephelus tukula photo
Potato Cod being cleaned by two Striped Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus). North Horn, Osprey Reef, Coral Sea

Image by Richard Ling - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)


The Potato Cod is a large robust fish with a rounded tail. It is grey brown with large dark brown spots and blotches over the body. There are small spots on the head and dark lines radiating back from the eye. There are small dark spots on the ends of the fins. Large adults may be almost black.

Other Names
Potato Grouper, Potato Rockcod

length to 2m. Weight to 110kg

deep reef channels. Juveniles may be found in tide pools. Depth range 10m - 150m

reef fish, crabs, spiny lobsters

The Potato Rockcod is found on coral reefs of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is found off north-western coast of Western Australia and along the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland.

The best place in the world to see the Potato Cod is at the famous Cod Hole on the Ribbon Reef, some 20 nautical miles from Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef. This area is home to a large group of Potato Cod which can be seen every day. Divers can get up close to these amazing fish, and see them being hand fed by dive masters. These huge fish will swim directly up to you, sometimes within centimetres of your face. Although the fish at the Cod Hole are used to people, they are potentially dangerous because of their large size.

Common Name:Potato Cod

Relatives in same Genus
  Blacktip Rockcod (E. fasciatus)
  Flowery Cod (E. fuscoguttatus)
  Queensland Groper (E. lanceolatus)
  Trout Cod (E. maculatus)
  Honeycomb Grouper (E. merra)
  Camouflage Grouper (E. polyphekadion)