Mycteroperca venenosa

Illustration and Copyright by Diane Rome Peebles
Illustrations are for viewing purposes only.

Description: color highly variable greenish olive or bright red with longitudinal rows of darker black blotches over entire fish; outer one third of pectoral fins bright yellow; lower parts of larger fish with small bright red spots.

Similar Fish: black grouper, M. bonaci; other grouper.

Where found: OFFSHORE on reefs off southern portions of Florida.

Possession and Size Limits: 4 per person in aggregate of all groupers, 20” TL. Captain and crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.

Federal Recreational Season: Closed February 1 - March 31. “The Edges” is closed to all fishing January 1 - April 30.

Size: common to 20 pounds.

Remarks: undergoes sex reversal from female to male in latter part of life; specific name translates to "venomous," alluding to the fact that this fish, perhaps more frequently than other groupers, is associated with ciguatera poisoning; feeds on fish and squid.

SEDAR Stock Assessment Information