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BiologyJuveniles occur in estuaries and seagrass beds; adults are usually found offshore on rocky bottom (rarely to 152 m), occasionally inshore on rocky or grassy bottom. It is the most common grouper on rocky ledges in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Adults are either solitary or in groups of 5 to 50 individuals; feed mainly on fishes, some crabs, shrimps, and cephalopods. Juveniles (less than 20 cm) feed mainly on crustaceans that live in shallow grass beds.