Groupers

© Jean Tresfon

Name

Groupers or Rockcod (Epinephelinae)

Alias

Bass or Coral Groupers

Size

Groupers are 40 cm in length on average but can be as long as 2 m.

Identification

The body of Groupers is strong and flattened on both sides. Its pectoral fins are round, and its tail is too expect in the case of the lyretail rockcod. It has a large mouth. Groupers vary in colour from brown with white spots to bright red.

General Info

Groupers belong to the Epinephelinae sub-family which comprises of 31 genera and 99 species. They are big fish, the largest recorded having a mass of 179kg. They can be found on reefs or taking shelter under ledges. The potato bass is a curious creature that will approach divers. These fish swallow their food entirely and crush it with bony plates in the pharynx. They are pelagic spawners, and their sex can change from male to female.

Feeding

Groupers feed on fish, octopus, lobsters and crabs.

Distribution

Groupers can be found in all tropical and temperate oceans across the world.

Common Species

Coral rockcod (Cephalopholis miniata)
Lyretail rockcod (Variola louti)
Potato bass (Epinephelus tukula)

© Johan Boshoff