Giant Grouper Facts You'll Never Forget

Here are giant grouper facts about these reef loving goliath fishes.

From the serranidae family, the giant grouper, also known as the Atlantic goliath grouper, is one of the largest grouper fish that reside in shallow waters. Being a carnivore they mostly prey on animals, but there have been numerous reports of these massive fish attacking divers in their territory. However, irresponsible fishing practices have left this species scarce across the world. Besides its scientific nomenclature Epinephelus lanceolatus, giant grouper are also recognized by several other names, for instance, brindle grouper, mottled-brown sea bass or Queensland grouper.

This marine species prefers to live near reefs in the Pacific Ocean where their favorite prey (in the form of small sharks and sea turtles) are easily available.

Read on to find out more about this breed of grouper. After reading about one of the largest grouper fish known, you may also look at tang fish facts and tetra facts.

Giant Grouper

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fish, small sharks and sea turtles

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

57 million eggs

How much do they weigh?

800 lb (363 kg)

How long are they?

96 in (8 ft)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Destructive and high-pressure fishing habits

What is their conservation status?

Critically Endangered

Where you'll find them

Tropical waters and coral reefs


Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys





Scientific Name

Epinephelus lanceolatus





Giant Grouper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a giant grouper?

A giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) is a carnivorous fish of the serranidae family. It is one of the largest reef-dwelling marine fishes known. They are usually found living near reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

What class of animal does a giant grouper belong to?

The giant grouper belongs to the class actinopterygii.

How many giant groupers are there in the world?

Even though there isn’t an exact number for the population of the giant grouper, the reduction in its population is rapid and they are therefore classified as a Critically Endangered species by the IUCN.

Where does a giant grouper live?

Giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) lives in the oceans, more specifically the Atlantic Ocean.

What is a giant groupers habitat?

Giant grouper fish prefer the tropical shallow waters of the ocean where there are rocks or reefs present. Even muddy or sandy waters are frequently inhabited by the giant grouper. Essentially any shallow water environment that allows them to camouflage with their surroundings and ambush their prey is ideal for the giant grouper.

Who do giant groupers live with?

Giant groupers are long-living fish that capture territories for themselves.

How long does a giant grouper live?

Giant groupers live for an average of 37 years, but some members of this species are believed to be able to live to the age of 100.

How do they reproduce?

Giant groupers have a very fascinating method of reproduction that is referred to as broadcast spawning. What they do is congregate at a spawning location which a grouper may travel miles to reach. In groups of about 100 fish, the males release their sperm at the same time as the females release their eggs into a water column that stands above a relatively deep reef. The reason for this method of reproduction is to ensure that the eggs fertilize, and since these fertilized eggs descend into the deep reef, they are not threatened by predators.

What is their conservation status?

Giant groupers are classified as a Critically Endangered species. However, owing to the fact that this species is at the very top of the food chain, according to scientists it's quite likely that the Atlantic goliath grouper is a rare species to come across. But due to the Endangered status, giant grouper fishing in the Pacific Ocean is now banned.

Giant Grouper Fun Facts

What do giant groupers look like?

Giant groupers are a massive species of fish that can grow as long as 96 in (8 ft). With a fairly thick body, the goliath grouper is quite ugly to look at. It has small eyes compared to their large and broad mouth. It is yellow and brown in color and has dark spots strewn across its scales that help it camouflage in its preferred rocky waters. These giant carnivores weigh about 800 lb (363 kg).

A giant grouper has dark spots on its body.

How cute are they?

The Atlantic goliath grouper is not cute at all. Rather, if confronted by this fish in the water, it would be fairly intimidating to look at on account of the fact that it is ugly and bigger than the average human being. They are also carnivorous.

How do they communicate?

Giant groupers communicate using their mouths by creating a deep rumble that travels through the water. This is done to communicate with its similar kind, as well as to guard its own territory.

How big is a giant grouper?

The giant grouper size can be as big as 96 in (8 ft). That is about 24 in (2 ft) taller than an average human. The biggest giant grouper ever caught weighed 680 lb (308 kg).

How fast can a giant grouper swim?

There is no data as to the average swimming speed of the giant grouper, but the fastest speed that was recorded was a whopping 78 mph (125 kmph).

How much does a giant grouper weigh?

Giant groupers can weigh as much as 800 lb (362 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There aren’t any specific names for the males and females of this species. The males are referred to as male giant groupers while the females are referred to as a female giant groupers.

What would you call a baby giant grouper?

A baby giant grouper is normally referred to as a juvenile until they reaches the age of five years, after which they are qualified to live with adults.

What do they eat?

Giant groupers are carnivores. Therefore, they normally eat crustaceans, sea turtles, smaller fish, and some varieties of small sharks.

Are they dangerous?

Even though these heavy-bodied fishes don’t eat human flesh, if threatened giant groupers can attack humans and several such incidents have been reported.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the giant grouper would not make for a good pet. These are a species of carnivore fishes and hence exhibit high predatory behavior in terms of their food requirements. These fishes are better left in their natural habitat along reefs in the ocean to hunt other sea animals for their food.

Did you know...

Giant groupers don't bite or chew their prey. They simply consumes it whole since they have a large oral cavity and opening. They are also known to swim continuously for long distances, much like other groupers.

Giant grouper eats shark! In 2018, pictures emerged of a giant grouper eating shark in Florida. That was actually a goliath grouper weighing 500 lb (226 kg). Hence, the reports of sharks being eaten by giant groupers is true.

Where did Jeremy Wade catch the giant grouper?

Jeremy Wade, while fishing in Florida, came upon the giant grouper by accident and after that, he caught giant groupers in river mouths across Australia.

What is the largest grouper?

The largest giant grouper caught (on record) was on Fernandina Beach in Florida in 1961. The fish weighed 680 lb (308 kg) and was over 78 in (200 cm) long.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including crown-of-thorns starfish, or fluke fish.

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



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