Adults inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs, in areas with rich coral growth. Most frequently encountered in channels along the reef front (Ref. 9710, 48635). Often a shy fish (Ref. 48635). Feed exclusively on fishes (Ref. 37816). Misidentified as P. leopardus in Ref. 2928 (Johannes, pers. comm.). This study reports of a declining stock in Palau due to fishing. Before actual spawning around full moon, the species aggregates along channels and are responsive to baited hooks, making them vulnerable to fishermen; upward movements of some to take baited hooks presumably mistaken for courtship or spawning behavior. Large individuals may be ciguatoxic in certain areas (Ref. 37816). In the Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253).
Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall 1993 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p. (Ref. 5222)