The properly is subangular with the serrations at its angle being slightly enlarged and the upper edge of the gill cover is straight. The They are dark reddish brown on the upper part of the head and body, shading to paler pink on the underparts, they are marked with lighter spots and blotches across their body and there are darker margins to the fins.
This species has a maximum published total length of 125 centimeters (49 in), although they a more commonly found at lengths around 50 centimeters (20 in), and a maximum published weight of 23 kilograms (51 lb). The redgrouper's typical range is coastal areas in the western Atlantic, stretching from southern Brazil to North Carolina in the US and including the Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda.
Spawning occurs offshore between January and June, peaking in May. While primarily eating benthic invertebrates, the red grouper is an opportunistic feeder in the reef community.
The diet commonly includes mantid and portend crabs, juvenile spiny lobster, and snapping shrimp, with the occasional fish. The red grouper is of moderate size, about 125 cm and weighs 23 kg or more.
When aggravated (they are highly territorial) or involved in spawning activities, these fish can very rapidly change coloration patterns, with the head or other parts of the body turning completely white, and the white spots appearing more intense. Red grouper (Epimetheus Mario) on an excavated site on Pulley Ridges on the West Florida Shelf Red grouper actively excavate pits in the seafloor.
They start digging in the sediment from the time they settle out of the plankton and continue throughout their lifetime. They use their caudal fin and their mouths to remove debris and sediment from rocks, creating exposed surfaces on which sessile organisms actively settle (e.g., sponges, soft corals, algae).
The exposure of structure also attracts a myriad of other species, including mobile invertebrates and a remarkable diversity of other fishes, from bodies and butterfly fish to grunts and snapper. The lionfish Steroid Holsteins started invading red grouper habitat by 2008, from Florida Bay to the Florida Keys and offshore to Pulley Ridge, a despotic coral reef on the West Florida Shelf west of the Dry Tortugas.
Known for being extremely capable predators on small reef fish, scientists are very interested in determining the extent to which their invasion changes the functional dynamics of associated communities. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epimetheus Mario.
“Helming parasites of Epimetheus Mario (Pisces: Serranidae) of the Yucatán Peninsula, southeastern Mexico” (PDF). “Groupers in general have big heads, large mouths and heavy, stout bodies.
They are not distance swimmers but prefer to dwell in bottom structures such as rock protrusions and reefs. Although some populations are below target levels, U.S. wild-caught red grouper is still a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
In the South, blackened grouper is a favorite preparation, but this versatile fish can also be skewered or used in chowders and soups. Red grouper is available year-round with peak catches in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico occurring during the summer and fall.
Red grouper flesh is white and lean with a notable lack of bones, and is very forgiving when cooked as it remains moist, firm, and has large flakes. Red grouper is considered the best tasting grouper with a distinct shellfish finish due to its diet.
Red grouper are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they all begin life as a female and eventually some may transform into males. Red grouper have large mouths with a slight under-bite, which allows them to eat their prey whole by dilating their gill covers and rapidly inhaling.
They also frequent areas with live bottom structures such as sponges, corals, and sea squirts. Red grouper act as “marine engineers” in their ecosystem by hollowing out flat-bottomed areas to create their home and attract mates.
This process provides habitat to other species such as spiny lobster, black grouper, red porgy, and vermilion snapper. Their grouper habitat utilization investigation looks at seasonal movement patterns in an attempt to improve populations and fishery management.
The If program allocates shares of the total commercial catch limit amongst individual fishers. Under the program, each fisher owns a share of the quota and can choose to fish it at anytime during the open season.
Strict commercial reporting requirements prevent fishers from harvesting more than their individual allocation. The Reef Fish FMP has been a success in allowing red grouper populations to bounce back from overfishing that had occurred on and off in the Gulf since the 1970s.
They are fairly long-lived and come together to spawn in large numbers, characteristics that make them vulnerable to fishing pressure. The Gulf of Mexico population in the was declared overfished in 2000 and then was rebuilt to target levels in 2007, according to the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service.
The South Atlantic stock is no longer overfished, but a 2010 assessment showed it hasn’t been fully rebuilt. Grouper fisheries have high impacts on nontarget species, the Monterey Bay Aquarium reported.
Venting tools are also employed to make it easier for reef fish to survive when released. In the United States, red grouper management measures include permits, annual catch limits, fishing quotas, marine protected areas that are closed to fishing, seasonal closures, gear restrictions, minimum size limits, and data reporting requirements.
Identification & Biology: The Red grouper, as the name implies, has a reddish-brown body that shades to pink or red along its belly. Red grouper are easily recognized by their color and by the sloped, straight line of their spiny dorsal fin.
Spawns in April and May; prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77 degrees F; undergoes sex reversal, young individual females becoming males as they age; lifespan of at least 25 years; feeds on squid, crustaceans, and fish. Red groupers usually ambush their prey and swallow it hole, preferring crabs, shrimp, lobster, octopus, squid and fish that live close to reefs.
Usually solitary until spawning time, it grows to 4 feet (1.2 meters) in length and resides along rocky or muddy bottoms in warm waters (common to 15 pounds). Range & Habitat: bottom dwelling fish associated with hard bottom; juveniles OFFSHORE along with adults greater than 6 years old; fish from 1 to 6 years occupy NEARSHORE reefs.
Red grouper are distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico primarily along the West Florida shelf and throughout the western Atlantic and Bermuda and the Caribbean. Additional types of fishing gear include pots and traps, cast nets, spears and trawls.
Market Description: the Red Groupers' meat is characterized as great seafood quality. Firm texture, white meat with large flake and a mild flavor.