The Stunning Grouper

The Stunning Grouper



The groupers fish, the anthias and the fairy basslet have been affectionately labelled as the ‘Queens of the Red Sea’. They are part of the ‘royal’  family of the Serranidae. The  grouper has been subcategorized as the Epinephelinae. Some of them are truly heavyweights with 300 kg on the scale. The colourful grouper is territorial to the bone. As territorial as they are, the grouper is also solitary. The carnivorous diet of a grouper comprises crustaceans, cephalopods and fishes. They are nocturnal, comfortably having siesta in coral reef settings or sheltered by madrepores during daytime.

They become active as soon as the sun sets in. They are sheer frightening once in marauding mode. They are certainly not to be messed with, voracious as they are. The grouper is a girl at birth but becomes a boy when maturing. Their colour spectrum is simply stunning, covering almost every colour from the rainbow.

Family Members

Arabian/Greasy Grouper

Size up to 70 cm (2,3ft). Depth up to 50m (165 ft)

The Arabian grouper,  also known as the greasy grouper, resides in various habitats such as the outside of coral reefs, in lagoons or in brackish waters. Its body can best be described as robust with grey and white nuances, decorated with black, brown and reddish spots. The Arabian grouper fish is a hermaphrodite, indicating it changes from female to male. The carnivorous diet of the Arabian grouper comprises crustaceans, cephalopods and fishes.

Blacktip/Tail Grouper

Size up to 40 cm (1,32ft). Depth up to 160m (525ft)

The nocturnal blacktip has a pointed head and streamlined, robust body. Its colour spectrum is pinkish to orange with white accents. The ‘blacktip’ tag alludes to the dark blotch in the pointed head region. It inhabits reefs and rocky bottoms, dieting on fishes, and invertebrates.

Red Sea Coral Grouper

Size up to 110 cm (3,6ft). Depth up to 50m (165ft)

The northern part of the Red Sea is ‘ infested’  with the huge, impressive Red Sea coral grouper, predominantly hovering over sandy patches and near coral reefs. It reminisces the moon grouper in terms of colour and pattern. It likes smaller fish and crustaceans.

Malabar Grouper

Size up to 120 cm (3,93ft). Depth up to 60m (198 ft)

They’re getting bigger and bigger. That’s the Malabar for you. It has an intriguing greyish to white marbled pattern on a robust body. The trained eye will spot very fine blotches covering the body. It’s rare in the Red Sea, so it isn’t very likely but all the more rewarding when you spot the fearsome appearance of this frightening predator and monitoring its habits of eating fish, crustaceans and sometimes a tiny octopus. It easily adapts to environments such as coralline and sandy bottoms, mangrove swamps and lagoons.

Moon Grouper

Size up to 80 cm (2,62ft). Depth up to 250m (820 ft)

In sharp contrast with its ‘malabar’ counterpart, the moon grouper is a common feature in the Red Sea, also at staggering depths beyond eye reach. It inhabits regions with clear waters near offshore reefs on the open sea site. The solitary moon grouper frequents cleaning stations for a service by the cleaner fish, having parasites and skin particles removed. It has a sensational appearance, proudly showing off predominantly red-violet and orange tones and fin margins tainted yellow, on a robust and tapering body. It is hermaphroditic and lives on fish and crustaceans .

Redmouth Grouper

Size up to 60 cm (1,96ft). Depth up to 60m (196ft)

The solitary and nocturnal redmouth grouper has a red mouth...It has a dull brown to black colouring on a elevated and compressed body. It tends to hides in caves or crevices or dwellings at the base of large gorgonians, enjoying the clear waters of coral reefs. It feeds on smaller fish and loves crustaceans.

Other Family Members

Brown-Marbled Groupers

Brown-Spotted Groupers

Giant Groupers

Half-Spotted Groupers

Saddle Groupers

Summana Groupers