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Red Grouper

Epinephelus morio


Illustration of a red grouper
  • 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.

Additional Information

State Record: 42 lb 4 oz, caught near St. Augustine Inlet

Similar Fish: Nassau grouper, E. striatus.

Recreational Regulations


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles