Fun Atlantic Goliath Grouper Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Atlantic Goliath Grouper Facts For Kids

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Do you like reading about different species of fish? If so, you should give this article on Atlantic goliath grouper fish a read. Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) or goliath grouper was previously known as jewfish and is found living in shallow tropical waters. E. itajara is a resident of the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, the Brazilian coast, Maine, and Massachusetts. These fish belong to the Serranidae family and the order Perciformes. They are large fish and aggressive predators. However, they fall victim to excessive fishing. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN, these fish are Vulnerable. Schools of these fish come together during the breeding season. They generally return to the same spot to breed annually, and this makes them extremely vulnerable to fishing. They have a slow growth rate, so it will take time for them to recover their population. To learn more about these fish, read on.

If you want to read about other species of groupers, check out Nassau grouper and red grouper.

Fun Atlantic Goliath Grouper Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Crustaceans, octopus, sea turtles, sharks, other fishes

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

400-790 lb (181-358 kg)

How long are they?

Up to 8.2 ft (2.5 m)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellow, brown, olive, gray

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Fishing And Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Tropical Waters










Atlantic Goliath Grouper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Atlantic goliath grouper?

Atlantic goliath grouper is a type of fish found in the tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the phylum Chordata and the order Perciformes.

What class of animal does an Atlantic Goliath Grouper belong to?

Atlantic goliath grouper (scientific name: Epinephelus itajara) belongs to the Actinopterygii class of the Animalia kingdom. It is a member of the family Serranidae and subfamily Epinephelinae. The genus of this species is Epinephelus.

How many Atlantic goliath groupers are there in the world?

The population of Atlantic goliath grouper has not been quantified yet. Like many Endangered species of fish, Atlantic goliath grouper faces the threat of fishing. The population of this fish has been rapidly declining over the years. To add to that, the slow growth rate of the fish is doing little in stabilizing the population.

Where does an Atlantic Goliath Grouper live?

The Atlantic goliath grouper location range in the United States includes the Florida Keys. Even though the number is very low, it is found in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Apart from that, the Caribbean and the Brazilian coasts are also home to these fish. It is also found in areas of Congo to Senegal, around the coast of Africa on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean. In New England, the goliath grouper is found off the coast in Maine, as well as, Massachusetts.

What is an Atlantic goliath grouper's habitat?

The natural habitat of this species of grouper is in the shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a saltwater fish that prefers living in a depth of 16-164 ft (5-50 m ). Atlantic goliath grouper habitat is among the coral reefs and the artificial reefs that are found in that depth of the tropical water.

Who do Atlantic Goliath Groupers live with?

Atlantic goliath grouper found in the Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean coast, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean prefers living a solitary life. The groupers are not the most active fish, but are known to swim several miles singly. However, many Atlantic goliath grouper fish come together during spawning to form spawning aggregation.

How long does an Atlantic goliath grouper live?

This species of fish can live up to 37 years, which is quite long. Several scientists believe that under the right circumstances, the average Atlantic goliath grouper lifespan can extend up to 50-100 years.

How do they reproduce?

The goliath groupers or Atlantic goliath groupers have a slow growth rate. Moreover, they take time to reach sexual maturity. The females of the species become sexually mature at the ages of six to eight years, whereas, the males become mature at four to six years of age. Groupers are known to cover long distances in search of the perfect spot for reproduction. They have a tendency of returning to the same spot for reproduction every year. A large number of males and females form spawning aggregations near the artificial and coral reefs. The females and the males release their eggs and sperm simultaneously in the shallow waters above the reefs.

What is their conservation status?

The Atlantic goliath grouper conservation status as listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN (previously known as World Conservation Union) Red List is Vulnerable. Epinephelus itajara has a natural slow growth rate. To add to that, the population of this fish has been falling victim to excessive fishing over the years. However, they are being protected from fishing at the moment. Even with the protected status, it is going to take time for the species to stabilize the population status.

Atlantic Goliath Grouper Fun Facts

What do Atlantic goliath groupers look like?

The goliath grouper or Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) are large-sized fish. The color of the fish ranges from yellow, brown, olive, to gray. They have numerous tiny dark spots on their head. These dark spots are also present on the fins. There are uneven dark bars present on the sides of the fish. Like most other groupers, they have large mouths and sharp long jawbones. These fish have round caudal and pectoral fins. They have two dorsal fins, with the second dorsal fin being larger than the first dorsal fin. The dorsal spines are generally of the same height. The eyes of this species of fish are quite small yet intimidating and are set forward. They have rounded tails.

Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara)

How cute are they?

Unlike yellow tang, Atlantic goliath groupers (E. itajara) cannot be considered cute. It is very easy to get intimidated by their size. The dark spots do little to add to their cuteness.

How do they communicate?

Atlantic goliath grouper, like most other fishes, communicate through motion, smell, and electrical impulses. They send each off signals in the form of vibrations inside water. Moreover, they can also smell and taste the chemicals released by other fishes.

How big is an Atlantic goliath grouper?

Atlantic goliath groupers are large fish. In fact, they are one of the largest species of groupers. These fish can grow up to a length of 8.2 ft (2.5 m). When compared to a strawberry grouper, the Atlantic goliath grouper is almost eight times bigger in size. However, compared to this fish, the southern bluefin tuna is slightly shorter.

How fast can an Atlantic goliath grouper swim?

Atlantic goliath grouper is known to swim several miles during the spawning season to find the perfect spawning spot and form spawning aggregations. Apart from that, this species of fish also swims alone during the non-spawning period near the coral and artificial reefs in search of food, even though they are not the most active fish. However, the exact speed at which these fish swim is not known.

How much does an Atlantic goliath grouper weigh?

The average weight of Atlantic goliath grouper range from 400-790 lb (181-358 kg). The giant grouper, another species of grouper that is currently Critically Endangered, is slightly bulkier than them.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females of this species. They are simply referred to as male Atlantic goliath grouper and female Atlantic goliath grouper.

What would you call a baby Atlantic goliath grouper?

Baby fish are generally referred to as 'fry'. So a baby of Atlantic goliath grouper will be referred to as the same.

What do they eat?

When it comes to food, Atlantic goliath groupers are opportunistic predators. They take advantage of their size and prey on various marine species that reside near the coral and artificial reefs. They feed on crustaceans and other fishes. Apart from that, octopuses and sea turtles are also part of their diets. Other predators, like sharks, very easily fall prey to these predators.

Are they dangerous?

Atlantic goliath groupers are predators of various marine species. Being the largest grouper in the western range, they can easily hunt down dangerous species like sharks and octopuses. They are known to be one of the most aggressive eaters. Moreover, it is a very common event for divers to face an Atlantic goliath grouper attack. However, there is no record of anyone being eaten by a goliath grouper.

Would they make a good pet?

Atlantic goliath grouper is not likely to make a great pet. It is the largest grouper found in the western range and will require a huge aquarium to live in. Maintaining such a huge aquarium is extremely difficult. Moreover, this species of fish has a very specific diet and is a skilled predator. It is not possible to provide them with that diet on a daily basis outside their natural habitat. Apart from that, the Atlantic goliath grouper is now being protected, and fishing this species has been made illegal.

However, some of these fish are found in various fisheries. Some of these fisheries try captive breeding of this species.

Did you know...

Goliath grouper was previously found on the menu in various countries such as Cuba. The Atlantic goliath grouper tastes mild and sweet. It does not have any strong fishy taste. However, due to their poor population status, fishing of this fish is illegal, and so it is not legally consumed anymore.

How did the Atlantic goliath grouper get its name?

Atlantic goliath grouper was previously known as the jewfish. The origin of the name jewfish is unknown. However, due to various reasons, the name jewfish was changed to goliath grouper or Atlantic goliath grouper. The word 'grouper' is derived from the Portuguese word 'garoupa'.

Where to fish for Atlantic goliath grouper?

Even though the Atlantic goliath grouper is a solitary species that prefer living singly, they form schools during breeding. Schools of this fish have a tendency to return to the same place to form spawning aggregations. The experienced fishermen catch a huge number of these fish during their breeding period from their breeding range.

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 leopard grouper facts and giant grouper facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Atlantic Goliath Grouper coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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