Fun Malabar Grouper Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Malabar Grouper Facts For Kids

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The Malabar grouper (Epinephelus malabaricus) is a ray-finned fish of the family Serranidae. Other names of this fish are Malabar rockcod, Morgan's cod, Greasy grouper, Estuary rockcod giant, speckled grouper, and the spotted grouper. These groupers belong to the same family as the sea basses and inhabit the Indo-Pacific region. They prefer coral reefs, mangrove swamps, mud, and sandy bottoms. The giant rockcod (greasy grouper) bears dark brown colored black spots and blotches all over its body. They are solitary in nature and preys on crustaceans, small fishes, and sometimes, cephalopods.

The rock cod greasy grouper can swim up to 450 ft (137.1 m) depth and generally prefers deeper coral and rocky reefs. The smaller grouper can be spotted in shallow watery regions. They are also known to settle in swampy mangrove areas in order to escape from their predators. Humans catch and market them in live fish markets. Other large fish also prey on the speckled grouper. The Malabar grouper is an ecologically important fish.

 If you liked reading this article, then do check out the Gulf grouper and giant grouper.

Fun Malabar Grouper Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Fish, crustaceans, cephalopods

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

330 lb (149.6 kg)

How long are they?

Up to 92 in (233.6 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Light gray and yellowish-brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans And Larger Fishes

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Estuaries, Mangrove Swamps, Lagoons, Rocky Reefs, Coral Reefs, Mud And Sandy Bottoms


Japan, Australia, East Africa, The Red Sea, Indo-pacific Region









Malabar Grouper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Malabar grouper?

The Malabar grouper is a ray-finned fish of the family Serranidae. The sea basses also belong to this family.

What class of animal does a Malabar grouper belong to?

Malabar grouper (Epinephelus malabaricus), also known as the estuary rock cod giant, belongs to the Actinopterygii class.

How many Malabar grouper are there in the world?

The exact number of Malabar grouper, also known as blackspot grouper, is not known. However, there are over 159 species of grouper that belong to the family Serranidae.

Where does a Malabar grouper live?

The estuary rockcod giant, also known as blackspot groupers, is endemic to the Indo-Pacific region, and their distribution is seen from East Africa to Tonga, Japan, and Australia. They are also available in large numbers in the Red Sea.

What is a Malabar grouper's habitat?

The Malabar grouper or speckled grouper inhabits the coral reefs, rocky reefs, estuaries, lagoons, mud and sandy bottoms, mangrove swamps. The adult grouper species can swim up to a great depth, but the juveniles prefer shallow water. It is also seen that juveniles migrate to mangrove swamps in order to escape from predators.

Who do Malabar grouper live with?

Epinephelus malabaricus, also known as Malabar groupers, are solitary fish. It is not known whether they form aggregates during their breeding season.

How long does a Malabar grouper live?

The exact lifespan of Malabar or Spotted grouper is not known. However, the groupers of the Serranidae family are known to live for about 40 years. The red grouper and the Nassau grouper can live till the age range of around 25 - 30 years.

How do they reproduce?

The spotted grouper reproduces by laying large clusters of eggs, approximately 100,000. Their breeding season starts from September, and maximum spawning is seen in the month of November. Their seasonal spawning is controlled by the phases of the moon.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List has listed the Malabar grouper (Epinephelus malabaricus) as a species of Least Concern. However, the increased demand for the Malabar groupers in the fish markets can impose a threat to this species.

Malabar Grouper Fun Facts

What do Malabar grouper look like?

The Malabar rockcod (Morgan's cod) has an almond-shaped body. They have a large number of black spots throughout their body and head, and hence they are also known as blackspot groupers. Their streamlined body helps them to swim fast against the water currents. Their body is covered with wet scales that are slimy, and hence these are named greasy grouper (Malabar rockcod). The Malabar grouper mandible has a wide area that helps to create a suction when drawing food into their large mouth. These species of rock cod (greasy grouper) swallow their food rather than chewing. Their body is yellowish-brown or light grayish brown in color with small black eyes. They have 11 dorsal spines, 14-16 dorsal soft rays, three anal spines along with eight anal soft rays. Their caudal fin is rounded in shape.

Malabar Grouper

How cute are they?

The Malabar rockcod (Morgan's cod) has slimy wet scales on its body. Their body coloration is brown, along with black spots and blotches throughout the body. This does not make them look cute.

How do they communicate?

The greasy grouper (Malabar rockcod) communicates by vibrating their swim bladder. They also have the ability to change their color in order to defend themselves from predators.

How big is a Malabar grouper?

The yellowish-brown rockcod estuary or Malabar grouper can reach up to 92 in (233.6 cm) in length. By this description, and is way bigger than the African Hind grouper or the strawberry grouper.

How fast can a Malabar grouper swim?

Although they are not fast swimmers, the species of giant rock cod (greasy grouper) can swim at a depth of 140 ft (42.6 m), while the juveniles prefer shallow water.

How much does a Malabar grouper weigh?

The rockcod estuary species weigh about 330 lb (149.6 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the male and female giant rock cod (greasy grouper).

What would you call a baby Malabar grouper?

A baby Malabar grouper is called a fry.

What do they eat?

Malabar groupers eat crustaceans, small fishes, and sometimes cephalopods. Their large mouth creates a powerful force of suction that can suck their prey species from a distance.

Are they aggressive?

The Malabar grouper species do not impose any threat to humans. However, they may aggressively attack smaller fish and crustaceans to prey on them. When kept in the same aquariums, they can become aggressive to other similar species of grouper and can attack them.

Would they make a good pet?

Though the Malabar grouper is not that pretty as the leopard grouper, it is a tasty seafood option and is extremely popular in live fish markets. Some of the smaller grouper species make their way into aquariums.

Did you know...

The Malabar groupers are protogynous in nature. At the beginning of their lifecycle, they function as females and lay eggs. After spawning, the groupers transform into males. This is a common type of hermaphroditism (also called sequential hermaphroditism) seen in many fishes of the Indo-pacific region.

They also play host to a variety of parasites like the P. maaensis, P. manipulus, P. maternus, and many more.

Naming the Malabar grouper

The term 'grouper' comes from the Portuguese name 'Garoupa'. Several names are given to the Malabar groupers owing to their characteristic black spots and greasy wet scales all over the body. Other names of this fish are Malabar rockcod, Morgan's cod, greasy grouper, Estuary rockcod giant, speckled grouper, or spotted grouper.

Is Malabar grouper reef safe?

The Malabar grouper reef is safe by itself but will impose a threat to other smaller species of fish as they aggressively attack and prey on these species of fish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Atlantic goliath grouper facts and peacock grouper facts for kids.

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

Second image by Amada44.

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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