Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Hyporthodus mystacinus, Misty grouper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

tan + ~8-9 bars, last thick & dark
dark oblique stripes behind eye
juv: dark head, body bars, black saddle on tail base

Hyporthodus mystacinus (Poey, 1852)

Misty grouper

Body robust, compressed, deepest at origin of dorsal fin, depth < head length; large eyes; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without bony knob at lower rear corner; teeth depressible; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; front nostril <1/4 of rear nostril; operculum edge with 3 flat spines; preoperculum rounded, not serrated; 22-25 gill rakers; dorsal fin XI, 14-15, spine III longest, membranes between spines indented, length of base of soft part not longer than that of spiny part; anal fin III, 9; pectoral fin symmetrically rounded, 18-19; origin of pelvic under base of pectoral, shorter than pectoral; tail slightly convex or bluntly straight; body scales rough, 58-69 on lateral line.

Adult: Chocolate brown with pale spots and 8-9 dark bars on head and body, those on body extending onto dorsal and anal fins, last one on tail base widest and darkest; 3 oblique dark stripes on side of head -1 along top of upper jaw and on cheek, 2 behind eye and on operculum. Juvenile: like adult but also with a dark head, and a broad black bar across tail base.

Size: 115 cm.

Habitat: rocky reefs.

Depth: 12-439 m, usually below 30 m.

The NW Atlantic and eastern Pacific; N Carolina to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • New world (East Pacific + West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 115
Depth Range Min
  • 12
Depth Range Max
  • 439