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Species: Mycteroperca interstitialis, Yellowmouth grouper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

upper 1/2: uniform or dense brown spots
spiny D edge, lips & in mouth yellow
pectoral: dark rays, white rear margin
D & A: no dark spots
C: rays project evenly
gill rakers 23-27
preopercle: notch above angle
juv: bicolored - dark above, white below, yellow spiny D

Mycteroperca interstitialis (Poey, 1860)

Yellowmouth grouper

Body elongate, robust, compressed, depth at dorsal origin not greater than at anal origin; snout much longer than eye; in adult rear nostril much larger than front nostril; lower jaw projecting; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; teeth depressible; canines at front of jaws; preopercle serrated at lower corner, with a distinct notch above serrated corner; gill rakers, including rudiments, 23-27; dorsal fin with XI spines, indented between spines, 16-18 rays, rear edge pointed, with rays 9-11 elongated; anal fin with III spines, 11-12 rays, rays 6-8 elongated, lower rear edge pointed in adult; tail fin slightly concave, rays projecting evenly beyond fin end in adult; scales rough on side of body; 70-82 scales on lateral line.

Adult: Pale brownish grey, with close-set small brown spots on upper 1/2 of head and body; body sometimes with irregular dark bars; edge of spiny dorsal and inside and along outer edges of rear of mouth yellow; no dark spots on dorsal and anal fins; pectoral fin with dark rays, pale membranes, whitish margin; a dark moustache above rear of top jaw. Juvenile: distinctly bicolored: head and body dark brown above, abruptly white below; tail with a black spot at base of top  rays, and upper and lower margins black; front of spiny dorsal yellow, that color persisting in small subadults.

Reaches 84 cm.

Found on reefs; smaller fish also in mangroves.

Depth range: 2-150 m.

N Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Corals
  • Mangrove
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species..
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 150
Length Max
  • 84