Family Serranidae, SEA BASSES AND GROUPER
Description: olive or gray body coloration with black blotches and brassy spots; gently rounded preopercle.
Similar Fish: gag M. microlepis; yellowfin grouper, M. venenosa.
Where found: OFFSHORE species; adults associated with rocky bottoms, reef, and drop off walls in water over 60 feet deep; young may occur INSHORE in shallow water.
Size: common to 40 pounds, may attain weights exceeding 100 pounds.
Florida Record: no Florida record because of identity confusion with gag, which are mistakenly called "black grouper.
Remarks: spawns between May and August; protogynous hermaphrodites, young predominantly female, transforming into males as they grow larger; larger individuals generally in greater depths; feeds on fish and squid.