Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Cephalopholis cruentata, Graysby grouper, the Graysby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark + orange-brown spots
upper back: row 4 white/black spots
pectoral 16
A 8

Cephalopholis cruentata (Lacepede, 1802)


Body robust, oblong; snout much longer than eye; flat to convex between the eyes; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, with bony knob at lower rear corner; most of teeth movable; preopercle rounded, finely serrated, no spines or notch; 18-21 gill rakers; dorsal fin IX, 13-15, membranes deeply notched between spines; anal fin III, 8 rays; pectoral fin symmetrically rounded, 16 rays; tail base slender, its height <1/2 body height; tail fin rounded; flank scales rough; lateral line scales 69-81.

Head, body and fins grey, brown or olive, covered with orange-brown spots; 4 spots along upper back that can change between black and white.

Reaches 33 cm, 2 kg.

Found in seagrass beds and (mainly) reefs

Depth range: 1-170 m

N Carolina to the southern Caribbean.

Note: Brazil records not substantiated.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • 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
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental primarily
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 33
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 170