Potato Grouper Epinephelus tukula
Groupers are large and important predators on coral reefs. They help to maintain the health of a reef by picking off weak fish. They also eat crabs and spiny lobsters. The potato grouper inhabits deeper reef channels and seamounts. It has a large head and heavy body with a single long, spiny dorsal fin. Irregular dark blotches cover the potato grouper's body and dark streaks radiate from the eyes. These fish are territorial, and in some areas, individuals are hand-fed by divers. However, one diver drowned after being rammed in the chest by a large potato grouper. The large size of these fish makes them an easy target for spearfishermen.
- Order Perciformes
- Length Up to 7 ft (2 m)
- Weight Up to 240 lb (110 kg)
- Depth 33–500 ft (10–150 m)
- Distribution Tropical waters of Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and western Pacific