Species encyclopedia

Giant Grouper

Epinephelus lanceolatus


This species is worthy of its name, with a maximum reported size of 2.50 m in length and weight of 400 kg. Although the adult’s scales are generally dark, the juveniles are marbled with yellow and black.

They are curious fish, easy to approach, making them ideal prey for underwater hunters. However, in some geographic areas, their flesh may be toxic, because they can accumulate the toxin responsible for ciguatera.

The species is hermaphroditic, meaning each individual fish can change sexes over the course of its life, according to reproductive needs.


This predator lurks near coral reefs. Its menu is varied, although fish and crustaceans would appear to be its favourites. Young turtles have also been found in its stomach contents.

They can change their colouring to match their environment, allowing them to lie in wait to hunt. Their mouths, like those of teleosts, are protractile (can be thrust forward). This allows them to inhale prey by increasing the volume of space inside their mouths.

Large species of the genus Epinephelus are commonly known as groupers, but in some places they may also be known as mero.



Species encyclopedia

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