- Body color is brownish-red
- Tiny black dots found on snout
- Mouth lined in scarlet-orange color
- Sides have irregular white blotches
- Second spine of dorsal fin is long
- Pectoral fins are longer than pelvic fins
- No large black spot on caudal peduncle
Similar Species: Nassau grouper, E. striatus (large black spot on caudal peduncle)
Size: Up to 42 inches (50 pounds); common to 20 inches (15 pounds)
Bottom-dwelling fish found over hard and muddy bottoms. Juveniles found offshore along with adults greater than 6 years old. Fish from 1 to 6 years occupy nearshore reefs.
Spawn in April and May. Prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77 degrees F. Like many other grouper, red grouper undergo a sex reversal, young individual females becoming males as they age.
Lifespan of at least 25 years.
Feed on a variety of fishes and invertebrates.
State Record: 42 lb 4 oz, caught near St. Augustine Inlet
Similar Fish: Nassau grouper, E. striatus.
Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles