Latin name

Mycteroperca venenosa

Other names

Rincess rockfish, red rockfish; Spanish: arigua, bonaci cardenal, cuna cucaracha, cuna de piedra.


The body is relatively tall and oval. The coloration of the yellowfin grouper is very variable: usually the background is pale, and horizontal rows of darker rectangular spots cover the entire fish. The ends of these spots are rounded and can be black, gray, brown, olive green, or red. Small dark spots also run along the body, becoming smaller toward the belly and typically appearing bright red. The outer third of the pectoral fins are bright yellow, and the tail has a thin, dark, jagged edge. An overall reddish hue is present in fish from great depths, while yellowfin grouper are capable of abruptly changing color, turning pale or dark. The mouth is large, with the upper jaw extending beyond the vertical of the posterior edge of the eye. The teeth are arranged in narrow rows, with two prominent canines in each jaw. The scales are fine.


The yellowfin grouper is found in the western Atlantic Ocean, most commonly in Bermuda, Florida, and the southern Gulf of Mexico. Its habitat extends to Brazil.


A coastal fish that lives among rocks and corals. Young yellowfin grouper prefer shallow water thickets of turtle grass, and adults are found on offshore rocky and coral reefs. They also stay on the muddy bottom in the northern Gulf of Mexico.


Yellowfin come in weights up to 20 pounds and lengths up to 3 feet. The world record for all tackle is considered to be a 40 pound, 12 ounce fish from Texas, caught in 1995.

Life history and Behavior

As with other grouper, the yellowfin undergoes a sex reversal, transforming from female to male in the latter part of life.

Food and feeding habits

The food consists of fish, squid and gastropod mollusks, in small quantities consumes echinoderms.


Spawning is recorded from March to August (Bermuda, Florida, Gulf of Mexico). Fertility is about 150,000 eggs. Eggs 0.8-1.2 mm in diameter.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Serranidae
Genus Mycteroperca
Species M. venenosa
Conservation status Near Threatened
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 18.5
Maximum length, cm 100
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Grouper, Yellowfin

Tags: Grouper, Yellowfin