Snowy grouper

Hyporthodus niveatus

Family Serranidae - groupers

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body moderately deep, somewhat compressed; color brownish red with obscure white spots, more distinct and forming vertical rows in young; dark saddle (blotch) on caudal peduncle, reaching below the lateral line in juveniles; soft dorsal, caudal, anal and pelvic fins edged with white; spiny part of dorsal fin edged in black; preopercle with several strong spines at angle; posterior nostril larger than anterior nostril; mouth large, lips thick; opercle with 3 flat spines, outer flap free; pectoral fins equal to or slightly longer than pelvic fins; scales rough to the touch; caudal fin rounded in juveniles, truncate (nearly straight vertical edge) in adults.
Similar Species
Differs from marbled grouper by a more slender body, pelvic fin about equal to or slightly longer than pectoral, and scales rough to the touch; also fins lined in white; differs from the Warsaw grouper by having a less steeper mouth angle and the maxilla (upper jaw) extends past the eye (does not in Warsaw).
Habitat
Gulf, deeper waters
Maximum Size
122 cm (4 ft), common to 60 cm (23 1/2 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XI,13-14; A. III,9 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Epinephelus niveatus
Comments
State size/bag limits