Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 60 - 250 m (Ref. 89707). Subtropical; 33°N - 27°S, 95°W - 33°W (Ref. 5222)
Western Atlantic: Bermuda and Massachusetts, USA to southern Brazil, including the southern Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Adults are unknown from the northeastern coast of the USA.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 67.7, range 47 - 95.1 cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 100.0 kg (Ref. 26340)
soft rays: 11 - 13. Distinguished by the following characteristics: Side body has rectangular dark gray blotches. Outer third of second dorsal, anal and caudal fins black. Edge of preopercle smooth, without pronounced lobe at angle; 17-24 total gill rakers (Ref. 26938); depth of body 3.3-3.5 times in SL; head length 2.5-2.8 times in SL; evenly rounded preopercle, without distinct notch or lobe at the angle; subequal sizes of anterior and posterior nostrils (Ref. 89707).
Minimum depth from Ref. 126840. A solitary species (Ref. 26340) inhabiting rocky and coral reefs (Ref. 9710). Adults feed primarily on fishes; juveniles mainly on crustaceans. Oviparous (Ref. 205). A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). Forms spawning aggregations (Ref. 55367). Common but difficult to approach (Ref. 9710). Marketed fresh and its flesh is of excellent quality.
A monandric species (Ref. 55367). According to a study in Campeche Bank, females changed sex between 85.5 and 125.0 cm FL, with median length of 103.3 cm FL. At 114.5 cm FL, 50% of the females in the sample had transformed into males. Age at sex change = 15.5 years (Ref. 55367).
Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 31172)
Fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01047 (0.00850 - 0.01290), b=3.05 (3.02 - 3.08), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.3 ±0.5 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.16; tmax=14; Fec=500,000).
Prior r = 0.49, 95% CL = 0.33 - 0.74, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (63 of 100).
Climate Vulnerability (Ref. 125649
): Very high vulnerability (88 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 10.6 [6.2, 22.4] mg/100g; Iron = 0.455 [0.225, 0.794] mg/100g; Protein = 19.5 [17.6, 21.1] %; Omega3 = 0.222 [0.129, 0.386] g/100g; Selenium = 27.9 [14.5, 53.2] μg/100g; VitaminA = 43.2 [14.9, 149.7] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.414 [0.279, 0.638] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.