Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
5 - 20 pounds
39" - 52"
The Black Grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci), or sometimes called black rockfish or marbled rockfish, is a saltwater fish usually found in the western Atlantic. Most of the fish’s body is olive or gray except for the dark rectangular blotches (with some brassy spots) scattered all over its body, including the head and fins. Its fins are mostly round except for the square-ish tail and the front part of its two-segment dorsal is spiny. All of the fins are also bordered with rounded dark blue or black colors.
The body of the black grouper is quite meaty and oblong. It has small eyes despite its rather big head and the lower jaw is sticking out. Another distinguishing feature this fish has is the rather roundish preopercle or cheek.
Like most grouper fish species, Black Groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites. This means that all of them are born females. When they reach a certain age and size, or when they reach sexual maturity, many become males for them to be able to reproduce. The spawning season usually starts in November and ends in May. Spawning starts with both the males and females releasing their sperms and eggs in the water. The fertilized eggs would just drift with the current until they hatch. The youngs would then feed mostly on small crustaceans they would find drifting in the water. As they mature to adulthood, they would include small reef fishes like snappers and herrings as well as small squids in their diet.