It is the type species of the genus Epimetheus. The blacktop grouper has a body which has a standard length which is around 2.8 to 3.3 times its depth.
The area between the yes is flat but the dorsal profile of the head is convex. The rounded properly has a finely serrated rear margin with he the lowest serrations slightly enlarged.
The upper edge of the gill cover is straight. The dorsal fin contains 11 spines and 15-17 soft rays while the anal fin has 3 spines and 8 soft rays.
The color is variable and ranges from pale greenish gray to pale reddish yellow to scarlet. They frequently have 5 or 6 faint dark bars, the final one being on the caudal peduncle.
The scales on the upper body have a pale center and dark rear margin, which creates am indistinct checked pattern. The outer membrane of the spiny part of the dorsal fin is black, or dark red in specimens from Western Australia and some from deep water.
There is a pale yellow or white spot to the rear of the tip of each of the dorsal fin spines. This species attains a maximum total length of 40 centimeters (16 in), although a more common length is around 22 centimeters (8.7 in), and a weight of 2.0 kilograms (4.4 lb).
This species may present simultaneous Hermaphroditus in smaller individuals, while the large individuals usually lose female function. Blacktop groupers are host of several parasites, including Pseudorhabdosynochus SPP.
The filmstrip nematode Philomath fascia ti is parasitic in the ovary of female fish; the adult female parasite is a red worm which can reach up to 40 centimeters in length, for a diameter of only 1.6 millimeter; the males are tiny. Raphidascaris (Ichthyascaris) fascia ti is a nematode parasitic in the intestine, 20 mm in length, described in 2020 and named after the fish.
An annotated and illustrated catalog of the grouper, rock cod, hind, coral grouper and lyre tail species known to date (PDF). Coral reef guide; Red Sea.
“Species of Pseudorhabdosynochus Yamagata, 1958 (Monotone: Diplectanidae) from Epimetheus fascists and E. Terra (Performed: Serranidae) off New Caledonia and other parts of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, with a comparison of measurements of specimens prepared using different methods, and a description of P. Caledonia n. SP”. “Photometries (Nematode: Philometridae) in paranoid and serrated fishes off New Caledonia, including three new species”.
“New records of animated nematodes from marine fishes off New Caledonia, with descriptions of five new species of Raphidascaris (Ichthyascaris) (Nematode, Anisakidae)”. ^ Scholar, W. N.; Cricket, R. & van der Loan, R.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epimetheus fascists. U.S. wild-caught black grouper is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
Fishing gears used to harvest black grouper have minimal impacts on habitat. The groupers complex is not subject to overfishing based on 2019 catch data.
They are particularly associated with the southern Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Cuba, the Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean. Annual catch limits are used for black grouper in the commercial and recreational fisheries.
These fisheries are closed when their annual catch limit is projected to be met. Both the commercial and recreational fisheries have size limits to reduce harvest of immature black grouper.
Seasonal closure for black, red, tiger, yellow fin, and yellow edge groupers from February 1 through April 30. Reef groupers are eaten by larger fish like sharks, eels, and rays.
The giant grouper has a robust body which has a standard length equivalent to 2.4 to 3.4 times its depth. The dorsal profile of the head and the intraorbital area are convex, The properly has a rounded corner and a finely serrated margin.
The gill cover has a convex upper margin. The adults are greyish-brown in color overlain with a mottled pattern and with darker fins.
The giant grouper can grow to huge size with the maximum recorded standard length being 270 centimeters (110 in), although they are more common around 180 centimeters (71 in). And a maximum published weight of 400 kilograms (880 lb).
The giant grouper is a species of shallow water and can be found at depths of 1 to 100 meters (3.3 to 328.1 ft). Large specimens have been caught from shore and in harbors.
They are found in caves and in wrecks while the secretive juveniles occur in reefs and are infrequently observed. The adults are mainly solitary and hold territories on the outer reef and in lagoons.
They have also been caught in turbid water over silt or mud sea beds by prawn fishermen. The giant grouper is an opportunistic ambush predator which feeds on a variety of fishes, as well as small sharks, juvenile sea turtles, crustaceans and mollusks which are all swallowed whole.
Fish which inhabit coral reefs and rocky areas favor spiny lobsters as prey and 177 centimeters (70 in) specimen taken of Maui in Hawaii had a stomach contents of two spiny lobsters and a number of crabs. Fish living in estuaries environments in South Africa were found to be feeding almost exclusively on the crab Scylla errata.
They are, however, curious and frequently approach divers closely. They are not generally considered dangerous to humans but divers are advised to treat large specimens with caution and not to hand feed them.
They are aggregate broadcast spawners, usually with several females per male. Studies in captive populations suggest that the dominant male and female begin the spawning event as nearly the only spawners for the first day or two, but other members of the aggregation fertilize more eggs as the event progresses, with even the most recently turned males fathering offspring.
Giant groupers are diabetic protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that although some males develop from reproductively functional females other males start to produce sperm without ever having gone through a phase as a reproductive female. The giant grouper is a highly valued food fish and is taken by both commercial and recreational fisheries.
As well as the consumption of its flesh its skin, gall bladder and stomach are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is valued in Hong Kong as a live fish for the live reef food fish trade, especially smaller specimens.
This species is cultured in agriculture and this practice is widespread but there is a restricted supply of juveniles, although hatcheries in Taiwan have produced captive bred juveniles, exporting some for to be grown on in other parts of South-East Asia. Many of the fish produced in aquaculture are hybrids between this species and E. fuscoguttatus.
Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephrine). “A study into parental assignment of the communal spawning protogynous hermaphrodite, giant grouper (Epimetheus lanceolatus)”.
^ Peter Palma; Akihito Nakamura; Garden XYZ Libunaoa; et al. (2019). “Reproductive development of the threatened giant grouper Epimetheus lanceolatus “.