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Species: Hyporthodus niphobles, Snowy grouper, Star-studded grouper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark brown, sometimes + rows pale spots
D: XI, adult - 2nd spine elongate
juvenile - white spots + dark/yellow tail
rear nostril vertically elongate, 2-5 times > front nostril
gill rakers 8-9 + 15-17

Hyporthodus niphobles Gilbert & Starks in Gilbert, 1897

Star-studded grouper, Snowy grouper

Body robust, relatively deep and oval, compressed, deepest at origin of dorsal fin; rear nostril vertically elongate, 2-5 times larger than front nostrils; gill rakers 8-9 + 15-17; dorsal rays XI, second spine longest in adult,13-15; anal rays III, 9;  63-71 lateral line scales.

Adult uniform brown, sometimes with several rows of pale spots along body; juvenile  chocolate brown to blackish with a grid pattern of white spots, an black saddle on upper half of tail base; tail fin dark or pale yellow; pectorals clear; pelvics and anal very dark; adults and juveniles with a dark moustache along margin of top jaw.

Size: reaches 121 cm.

Inhabits rocky reefs and adjacent sandy bottoms.

Depth: 1-450 m.

Southern California to the Gulf of California to northern Peru, Malpelo, Cocos and Galapagos.

Note: Previously in the genus Epinephelus.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 121
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 450