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FAQs about the Variola Basses 

Related Articles: The genus Variola

A Variola louti juvenile in an aquarium

Trigger & grouper question 8/21/05 Hi, I have had good luck with my undulate trigger with many other triggers in the tank. <Thus far...> I firmly believe that each fish is it's own self and that you cannot always judge a fish by it's species. I have a few questions, first, what is the largest undulate you've seen in a personal aquarium? <Overall length, about twelve inches> Second, starting at 5", what should I expect a clown trigger's length to be in a year given daily 'good food' feedings (i.e. New Life spectrum pellets, shrimp, squid, cuttlefish)? <Perhaps seven-eight inches> Lastly, at what length does a Louti grouper change from the juvi colorings, to the red body with yellow fin margins? <Most at about six to eight inches> Thanks, Dan. <Bob Fenner>

Variola albimarginata, white margin lyretail grouper Hi I have just received a fish which I am having trouble identifying, I originally thought it was a Variola albimarginata, white margin lyre tail  grouper. However on closer examination it appears to be slightly different, it is still small at around 7 cm.s with a white line from its upper lip through its  eyes just like Variola albimarginata, however the spots are red and its fins are clear, all references I have come across seem to show only adults, do you have any experience with this fish as a juvenile? <Mmm, not this small... you might look on fishbase.org under the genus... and comb through the species... left click their images to see all... and look at the Google Images link per species as well... You might have another Variola species...> Thank you for your time, I am trying to get a decent photo of this fish but as always it is apparently camera shy. Jamie Short <Do send that pic along if you can. Bob Fenner>

Grouper, et al. ID, husbandry help... Hello again.  I have a couple of new fish questions- The first:  I saw a grouper, I am guessing it's Variola sp. because it has a lyre-shaped tail, but it has a white stripe down its face and small white margin on its tail.   I thought it might be albimarginata for obvious reasons, but when I saw photos of juvenile individuals they did not look like this one (only three inches being generous, and already looking very red, with vertical bars, not horizontal).  Is this correct? <Possibly. Take a look at the pix of this genus' members on fishbase.org> If it is, I couldn't find much info on this so-called "cherry grouper" and I was wondering what its maximum length would likely be (probably around 2 feet, right?)? <Something like this, yes> The second question:  I actually read the literature on your site about this fish, but it mostly was written by other people.  And I couldn't find any solid info about it after I identified it (even tried the Google search and didn't find the image you spoke of).  It is Vespicula depressifrons, the leaf goblinfish, or more commonly seen as the Indonesian butterfly goby (although I know not why). <As Shakespeare gets credit for: "What's in a name?"> Can you give me some natural history on this little guy? <Mmm, none. Have not seen others experiences, had any of my own with this fish> I bought one (because they were only three dollars and if it dies it would be sad, but not like the death of an imperator angel or anything), it was being kept in fresh water like so many unfortunate, misidentified fish in the pet trade, so I put it in a freshwater quarantine for the time being, but I am more than suspicious that it is truly a brackish fish.  I have added a little bit of salt, since it must be at least a hard water fish and should be able to tolerate it.  I think I should keep adding, however.  Am I correct? Thanks again. Reuben <Take another look on fishbase here. Bob Fenner>

Grouper identification I bought this grouper has a miniatus, but I'm not too sure what it is. Maybe you can help me. pictures can be found here http://www.kingsamit.com/grouper01.JPG http://www.kingsamit.com/grouper02.JPG http://www.kingsamit.com/grouper03.JPG Samit <Mmm, not a Cephalopholis miniata... but a Variola sp., probably V. louti... Skunk Grouper... you can look it up on fishbase.org or see an article penned by me on WWM here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/variola.htm Bob Fenner>

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