Fun Grouper Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 20, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Groupers have the ability to travel 100 miles (160 km) to spawn.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Groupers refer to the fish species under the family and genera Epinephelinae. Under Epinephelinae some common species are Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara), giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), and red grouper (Epinephelus morio).

Groupers are a type of ray-finned fish that can grow extremely large. These fishes have stout bodies with large mouths. They range from yellow-brown to gray in color with dark spots. The grouper fish are found in the regions of Florida, South America, Central America, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Their habitat is in shallow temperate waters around the depths of 150 ft (46 m). They prefer areas of coral, rock, and mud bottoms in the ocean. They also inhabit mangroves and estuaries.

They are generally ambush predators. Their gills and mouth form a vacuum that pulls prey towards them.

Groupers have the ability to change their color to match coral reefs to help camouflage themselves, especially the fish Caribbean Coney and Nassau grouper. Some fascinating Grouper facts are that they are monoandric protogynous hermaphrodites, which means they attain maturity only as females.

They are one of the few species that have the ability to change their sex after reproduction maturity.

For more relatable content, check out these Nassau grouper facts and strawberry grouper facts for kids.

Grouper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a grouper?

Groupers are a type of large fish that refers to any species under the family and genus Epinephelinae.

What class of animal does a grouper belong to?

Groupers refer to a species of fish that are from kingdom Animalia, class Actinopterygii, family Serranidae, and genus Epinephelinae.

How many groupers are there in the world?

Groupers refers to a broad species under the genus Epinephelinae. There are over 159 species under this category. Many of the species have a healthy population in the world. But some species like the Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) are classified as Vulnerable and are threatened due to overfishing.

Where does a grouper live?

Grouper fish are found in shallow temperate waters around the depths of 150 ft (46 m). They prefer areas of coral, rock, and mud bottoms in open water. They also inhabit mangroves and estuaries.

What is a grouper's habitat?

The habitat of groupers is in the regions of the Mid Atlantic states, Florida, South America, Central America, and the Gulf of Mexico. They seek out places where they can camouflage themselves such as coral reefs or rocks and mud bottoms.

Who do groupers live with?

Groupers live in small groups called harems. These fish are monoandric protogynous hermaphrodites, which means they are female until maturity.

After maturity, they can change their sex. Interestingly these groups will contain only one male fish and several females. If a male fish dies, one of the females who has attained maturity will need to turn into a male and take control of the group.

How long does a grouper live?

Groupers have a long lifespan, which is unusual compared to other species. They can live anywhere between the range of 5-15 years. However, the goliath grouper can live up to 37 years. The age of the fish can be estimated by the growth of rings in their dorsal fin rays.

How do they reproduce?

Grouper fish mature as females only but have the ability to change their sex after reproductive maturity. Some species gain 2.2 lb (1 kg per) year until they reach 6.6 lb (3 kg) and become female.

They live in small groups called harems. The biggest male controls the group containing three to fifteen females. These species come together in specific locations to spawn for short periods of time in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions.

The grouper season of spawning occurs in the months of July, August, and September. Groupers form aggregations of 100 or more individuals on rock ledges, coral reefs, etc.

Once spawning is complete, females release eggs while males release sperm into the open offshore waters. Once the fertilization process is complete, the eggs hatch. Once they hatch the juveniles are about 1 in (2.5 cm) in length after 25 or 26 days.

What is their conservation status?

Groupers have different IUCN Red List Conservation statuses depending on the species. There are over 159 species within this genus.

Many of the species have a healthy population in the world and are categorized as of Least Concern. But some species like the Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) are classified as Vulnerable and are threatened due to overfishing and the destruction of their marine habitats. There they are now protected in the US.

Grouper Fun Facts

What do Groupers look like?

Groupers can live in places with low oxygen levels as well.

Groupers are large stout fish with big mouths. They are generally yellow-brown or gray with small dark spots all over their bodies. They have long dorsal fins.

Their pectoral fins are rounder and larger than their pelvic fins. Their fins are covered with scales and thick skin.

They also have a unique ability to change the color of their skin as a defense mechanism, for example, the Caribbean Coney. They have color patterns of stripes and spots to help them blend against the surface where they are situated, for example coral reefs. The biggest grouper is aptly called the goliath grouper.

How cute are they?

Grouper fish cannot be considered a cute species. They are large with big mouths. They have plain bodies with spots. An interesting fact is that they can change their skin color which helps them while searching for food or to ambush preys.

How do they communicate?

There is research to indicate that Grouper fishes communicate with other species like eels and between themselves using sign language. They either shake their entire body or do a headstand to indicate where the prey is hiding.

How big is a grouper?

Groupers are massive fishes. They can go up to 9 ft (2.7 m) in length and weigh upwards of 400 lb (181 kg). One of the largest of the species, the Atlantic goliath grouper Epinephelus itajara’s body can reach more than 8 ft (2.4 m) in length and weigh more than 1000 pounds.

How fast can a grouper swim?

Groupers have stout, large bodies. They are not made for fast or long-distance swimming. Therefore they are slow swimmers. They also have the ability to create a vacuum with their mouths that helps to pull their prey in toward them from a distance while hunting for food.

How much does a grouper weigh?

Groupers average around the range of 400-500 lb (181-226 kg), but the biggest of the species, the goliath grouper, can weigh more than 1000 pounds.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Groupers are simply referred to as male groupers or female groupers.

What would you call a baby Grouper?

There is no name specific to baby groupers. They are initially eggs that hatch into larvae. These larvae are juvenile groupers that then become bigger.

What do they eat?

Groupers eat crustaceans, octopuses, squids, and other fishes as food. They are ambush predators. They catch their prey and then directly swallow them whole.

Are they dangerous?

Groupers are not particularly dangerous to humans. They are friendly and found patrolling coral reefs and other shallow tropical waters.

Would they make a good pet?

Groupers can be kept as pets in aquariums. But if you want to buy a grouper fish, make sure you buy a large tank to accommodate the big grouper size.

Did you know...

Here are some grouper fun facts for everyone.

Once a 4.6 ft (1.4 m) long female grouper was caught spawning an aggregation that contained 57 million eggs!

The goliath grouper is very important in the waters of Florida. This is because they act as a health indicator for coral reefs. If coral reefs are not healthy, they will not be able to sustain large predators like the grouper fish.

Types of grouper

Some types of grouper species are Atlantic goliath grouper, red grouper, giant grouper, strawberry grouper, Nassau grouper, snowy grouper, black grouper, and peacock grouper.

Eating grouper

It is rated favorably in terms of taste, flavor, and size. The popular species for cooking are the red groupers, black groupers, and gag grouper. Grouper fishing is done using hook and line. Some common grouper recipes are grilled grouper, fried grouper, skewered, soups, etc.

You can also roast groupers. Groupers are very healthy and easy to prepare. The raw meat is white and lean without any bones. The grouper taste is moist and tasty.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our needlefish facts and hagfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our grouper coloring pages.

Grouper Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Fishes, Octopuses, Crustaceans, Squids

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

Average 440 lb (200 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

shallow temperate waters

Where Do They Live?

mid atlantic states, florida, south america, central america gulf of mexico

How Long Were They?

118 in (3 m)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name


What Do They Look Like?

Yellow-brown or gray with dark spots

Skin Type

Wet, slimy scales

What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern to Vulnerable
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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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