Epinephelus morio (Valenciennes, 1828)
Red grouper
photo by Cox, C.D.

Family:  Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae
Max. size:  125 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 23 kg; max. reported age: 25 years
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 5 - 330 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA to southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Bermuda; strays occur north to Massachusetts.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16-17; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-10. Color of head and body dark reddish brown, shading to pink or reddish below. Opercle with 3 flat spines, the middle one being the largest. Vertical fins angulate in larger fish. Pelvic fins shorter than pectorals and inserted slightly behind ventral and pectoral-fin base. Bases of soft dorsal and anal fins covered with scales and thick skin. No saddle on caudal peduncle. Interspinous membranes not incised (Ref. 26938); head length 2.3-2.5 times in SL; convex interorbital; subangular preopercle, serrae at angle slightly enlarged; straight upper edge of operculum; posterior and anterior nostrils subequal (Ref. 89707).
Biology:  Adults occur mainly over rocky and muddy bottoms. Uncommon around coral reefs. Usually rest on the bottom (Ref. 9710). Juveniles may be found in shallow water, but adults are usually taken from depths of 70-330 m (Ref. 13442). Feed on a wide variety of fishes and invertebrates. Are protogynous hermaphrodites (Ref. 55367). Most females transform to males between ages 7 to 14. Susceptible to red tide toxin (Ptychodiscus brevi) (Ref. 5222). Marketed fresh or frozen. The world record for hook and line, 39 lbs., from Cape Canaveral, Florida (Ref. 13442).
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (VU); Date assessed: 20 November 2016 (A2bd) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  other
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 07.04.11
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 21.04.94

Source and more info: www.fishbase.org. For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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