Tag: Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus)

Of all the members of the Serranidae family found in local waters, probably the most widespread and frequently encountered is the Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus).

Growing to a maximum length of around 40cm, the Black-Tip Grouper is easily distinguished by its overall red-ish/brown colouration with darker vertical solid or broken bars. There is a known variant of the species which is pale, to almost white on most of its body (with very faint vertical bars), with the exception of a portion of the head which retains the common colouration. This variant, although seldom seen, is present in the area.

The main characteristic, and the one from which it gets its common name, are the black tips of the dorsal rays which become more prominent as the fins are extended (this often happens as the fish is approached by a diver or other large animal).

As with most locally occurring members of the family, this species is primarily an ambush hunter which feeds mostly on small fish, but will generally attempt to grab anything that it considers edible, including small crustaceans, fish and molluscs.

Black-Tip Groupers are one of the most popular local species with divers, snorkellers and photographers due to both there abundance, bright colour and approachable nature.

Unlike many of its more timid relatives, the Black-Tip Grouper can easily be approached (slowly) to within a meter or so, allowing for some excellent photo opportunities.

Of all the members of the Serranidae family found in local waters, probably the most widespread and frequently encountered is the Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus).

Growing to a maximum length of around 40cm, the Black-Tip Grouper is easily distinguished by its overall red-ish/brown colouration with darker vertical solid or broken bars. There is a known variant of the species which is pale, to almost white on most of its body (with very faint vertical bars), with the exception of a portion of the head which retains the common colouration. This variant, although seldom seen, is present in the area.

The main characteristic, and the one from which it gets its common name, are the black tips of the dorsal rays which become more prominent as the fins are extended (this often happens as the fish is approached by a diver or other large animal).

As with most locally occurring members of the family, this species is primarily an ambush hunter which feeds mostly on small fish, but will generally attempt to grab anything that it considers edible, including small crustaceans, fish and molluscs.

Black-Tip Groupers are one of the most popular local species with divers, snorkellers and photographers due to both there abundance, bright colour and approachable nature.

Unlike many of its more timid relatives, the Black-Tip Grouper can easily be approached (slowly) to within a meter or so, allowing for some excellent photo opportunities.

Alan's picture
Dominick Cousineau-Benoit finds a new friend at Sail Rock!

Dominick Cousineau-Benoit gets up close and personal with a relaxed little Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus) during a recent

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus) - Variant

This photo shows the "variant" Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus) which differs quite significantly from the usual pale-dark red/brown banded variety.

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus)

A rather startled looking Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus) again showing how relatively easy it is to approach this species for some really close-up photographs.

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus)

This photo of a tiny juvenile Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus), shows that this species changes very little in appearance between its juvenile and adult stages, unlike many other fish species eg. members of the Wrasse (Labridae) family (which also tend to vary significantly between male and female).

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus)

The Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus) exhibits unusually solid brown bands along the body.

Many species of Grouper have the ability to rapidly change their colour/pattern to varying degrees, a trait which is quite common among numerous fish species.

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus)

This photo shows an unusually pale-coloured Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus). Individuals as pale as this are definitely not as common as the darker specimens, although this is NOT the pale "variant" shown elsewhere in this gallery.

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus)

This photo shows the Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus) in portrait.

They will usually sit quite calmly like this if approached cautiously, meaning nice close-up shots are fairly easy to get.

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus)

This photo shows the "classic" pose of the Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus) and also most of its distinguishing characteristics.

It also shows just how close you can get to this species, providing you move slowly and without making too much noise.

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus)

This is my personal favourite example of a Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus), photographed at Sail Rock, Koh Phangan and is what i like to refer to as a "clean looking" specimen.

Alan's picture
Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus)

This photo shows one of the darker variations of the Black-Tip Grouper (Epinephelus Fasciatus). Here the vertical bars along the body are more brown than red.