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Species: Hyporthodus niveatus, Snowy grouper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark brown, spiny D edge black
juv: D edge black; tail base - deep black saddle
D XI, spine III or IV longest
nostrils: rear 3-5x front

Hyporthodus niveatus (Valenciennes, 1828)

Snowy grouper

Body robust, compressed, oval, deepest at origin of dorsal fin, depth < head length; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without bony knob at lower rear corner; teeth depressible; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; rear nostril 3-5 times larger than front nostril; operculum edge with 3 flat spines; edge of preopercle with slightly enlarged teeth; 22-26 gill rakers; dorsal fin XI, 13-15, spine III or IV the longest, membranes between spines deeply 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 before lower edge of pectoral base, juveniles with pelvics longer than pectorals; tail rounded in juveniles, straight to concave in adults; body scales rough on sides, ~65 on lateral line.

Adult: dark brown; edge of spiny dorsal black. Juvenile: dark brown; conspicuous white spots in vertical rows on rear of head and on body, extending onto the dorsal fin; spiny dorsal fin with black edge; tail and pectoral fins yellow to clear; upper tail base with a deep black saddle that reaches below the lateral line.

Size: 122 cm, 30 kg.

Adults and juveniles on hard bottoms.

Depth: 10-525 m; juveniles enter shallow water, adults usually at 100-200 m.

Massachusetts to Brazil.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Also in Brazil
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 525
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Length Max
  • 122