Grouper, a warm-water food fish of the sea bass family. Groupers are distinguished by their numerous dorsal spines. They feed on crustaceans and fish. Most groupers are two to three feet (60 to 90 cm) long. Some species have special pigment cells in the skin that allow them to change color quickly for protective coloration. Under certain circumstances, the females of some species can change sex. These females live in small schools headed by a mature male. If the male dies or abandons the school, several of the females become males and are capable of fertilizing the eggs.

GroupersGroupers are food fish distinguished by their dorsal spines.

The red grouper is brown with reddish jaws and pale blotches on the sides. It weighs up to 40 pounds (18 kg). It is found from the coast of southern Florida to tropical South America. The Nassau grouper is slightly larger than the red grouper and is blackish-brown with black and tan markings on the back. It is found along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Brazil. The Queensland grouper is found in the Indian and Pacific oceans from East Africa to Australia. It is the largest species of grouper, weighing up to 600 pounds (270 kg) and growing to 12 feet (3.7 m).

Groupers belong to the family Serranidae. The red grouper is Epinephelus morio; the Nassau, E. striatus; the Queensland, E. lanceolatus.