Comments: Smith (1971): most closely related to Epinephelus guttatus and E. morio.
Little is known about possible population subdivision within the species range; micro-satellite markers using a DNA cloning procedure reveal no conclusive evidence for stock separation among samples taken from Belize, Bahamas, Florida and Central America.
DNA data indicate that (1) American Epinephelus species are not monophyletic, (2) Cephalopholis is monophyletic only with the inclusion of the morphologically distinct Paranthias, and (3) Mycteroperca is monophyletic only with the inclusion of the Indo-Pacific Anyperodon leucogrammicus (Craig et al. 2001).
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