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BiologyAbundant on reef tops and in shallow rocky areas. Found to depths of at least 25 m (Ref. 26938). Also found in Sargassum beds (Ref. 9626). Solitary and wary and can be difficult to approach (Ref. 26938). The tricolored pattern of the initial phase is similar to that of the juveniles of the yellowmouth grouper, Mycteroperca interstitialis, an aggressive mimic (Ref. 43465). A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). Generally of no interest to fisheries because of its small average size (Ref. 5217).