IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)


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Black grouper

The black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci) is one of the best known of the large group of perciform fish called groupers. Other common names include black rockfish, bonaeci arara, and marbled rockfish.[1] Other fish are sometimes called the black grouper including the similar gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis), the misty grouper (Epinephelus mystacinus), and the critically endangered Warsaw grouper (Epinephelus nigritus).


The black grouper is a large marine fish, growing up to 150 cm in length and 100 kg in weight. It has an olive or gray body, with black blotches and brassy spots. The preoperculum is gently rounded.

The black grouper is a solitary fish. The fish spawns between May and August. It is a protogynous hermaphrodite, i.e. the young are predominantly female, but transform into males as they grow larger.

Adults feed mainly on other fish and squid, though the younger fish feed on crustaceans, especially shrimp.


It is associated with rocky or coral reefs, but is not dependent on them; it is found in the western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts, USA, in the north to southern Brazil, but is particularly associated with the southern Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Adults are not found at the northern extremes of its range. It lives mostly near the surface, at depths ranging from six to 33 meters.


The black grouper is quite tasty and an important food fish. It is fished for sale and for sport.


The black grouper is an IUCN Red List near threatened species, vulnerable to increases in exploitation because it is a relatively slow breeder.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ferreira, B. P., et al. 2008. Mycteroperca bonaci. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 01 June 2013.



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