Description: Color brownish red; lining of mouth scarlet-orange; blotches on sides in unorganized pattern; second spine of dorsal fin longer than others; pectoral fins longer than pelvic fins; squared-off tail; margin of soft dorsal black with white at midfin; black dots around the eyes.
Similar Fish: Nassau grouper, E. striatus.
Where Found: Bottom dwelling fish associated with hard bottom; juveniles offshore along with adults greater than 6 years old; nearshore reefs.
Size: Common to 15 pounds.
Remarks: Spawns in April and May; prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit; undergoes sex change, young indifiduals female, becoming male as they age, lifespan of at least 25 years; feeds on squid, crustaceans, and fish.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles