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Potato grouper

Potato grouper

(Epinephelus tukula)

The potato grouper is a warm-water marine fish found in the Indo-West Pacific region from the Red Sea and East Africa to southern Japan. It can reach lengths of almost 7 feet and weigh as much as 243 lbs. Adults are mainly found in deep reef channels and on sea mounts in areas of strong current. Juveniles prefer to remain in tide pools.

This grouper is pale brownish grey in color with numerous dark brown to black widely spaced blotches on its body. A large adult may be nearly black. This species is a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning all individuals are born female and some become male later in life.

Look for the potato grouper in the Ocean Voyager gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The potato grouper feeds on reef fish, skates, crabs and spiny lobster.
  • It is considered both territorial and aggressive toward intruders.
  • In some areas this species has been hand-fed by divers, but this is can be potentially dangerous for the inexperienced, as this grouper will attack to defend its territory.
  • It is vulnerable to spear fishers because it will not hide when divers approach.
  • The potato grouper is called the "potato cod" or “potato rockcod” in Australia.
  • Download full fact sheet

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