Black Grouper

Black Grouper

mycteroperca bonaci

DID YOU KNOW?

All black groupers are born female.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Surviving through Adaptation

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Black Grouper

Black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci) are typically dark, with olive, gray or brown bodies and irregular bronze-colored blotches and spots. These groupers have several sets of teeth that help prevent fish from escaping while feeding.

Black grouper are born female, but some transform into males when they are large enough. These fish can live for more than 30 years, though most are caught before reaching that age.

Diet

Adult black groupers feed on fish, while juveniles primarily eat crustaceans.

Size

Black grouper can grow to more than 4 feet long and weigh upward of 170 pounds.

Range

Black grouper range along the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil.

Population Status

Black grouper are considered near-threatened.

Predators

Larger black grouper are preyed upon by sharks, including the sandbar shark and the great hammerhead. Smaller grouper are preyed upon by other groupers and moray eels. Black grouper are also frequently caught for human consumption.

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A Note From the Caretaker

Our black grouper has what looks like a loose tooth that is just a flap of skin that hangs down in its mouth. This grouper has a lot of personality and will follow me around when I clean the window in the morning.