Accession Number:

ADA214299

Title:

Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (South Florida): Black, Red and Nassau Groupers

Descriptive Note:

Biological rept.

Corporate Author:

ROSENSTIEL SCHOOL OF MARINE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE MIAMI FL DIV OF BIOLOGY AND LIVING RESOURCES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1989-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

27.0

Abstract:

Black, red, and Nassau groupers Mycteroperca bonaci, Epinephelus morio, and E. striatus, respectively are widely distributed on rocky bottoms and reefs along the south Florida coast. They are the most valuable marine finfish group in Florida, comprising about 25 of the total value of landings in 1984. The three species can be distinguished by morphometric, meristic, and body color characteristics. Younger fish are typically found in shallow, inshore grass beds, and larger, older fish are generally restricted to deep waters. The three species are protogynous hermaphrodites. Sexual transition can occur at any length over about 300 mm SL. An offshore movement apparently coincides with the onset of sexual maturity. Spawning aggregations have been observed throughout the year, but occur mostly between late spring and early summer. Fecundity estimates range from about 800,000 to over 5,000,000 eggs per female. Both the eggs and the larvae are planktonic. Growth rates range from about 2 to 10 mm month. The three species are unspecialized carnivores, feeding on a variety of fishes, crustaceans, and mollusks. Interspecific competition for food and shelter may be common because of the overlap in distribution, habitat, size, and food habits. For the three species, a number of predators and parasites have been reported. Both the black and red groupers have been implicated in ciguatera poisonings in south Florida.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Biological Oceanography

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE