Epinephelus merra is one of the most widely distributed and common small groupers in the Indo-Pacific, occurring from South Africa to Pitcairn, excluding the Middle East, coastal India and Hawaii. North to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. It is reported from the East China Sea (China) (Huang 1994). It also appears in the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and Exmouth, WA, Australia (Hoese et al. 2006), Howland Is., Baker Is., Jarvis Is., Palmyra Atoll, and Kingman Reef (Bruce Mundy pers. comm.), Pakistan and Sri Lanka.