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Aquarium of the Pacific - Online Learning Center - Species Print Sheet

Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

Aquatic SpeciesQueensland Grouper

Epinephelus lanceolatus Bony Fishes, marine

Queensland Grouper The Queensland grouper lives in the Tropical Reef Habitat. | Aquarium of the Pacific
Queensland Grouper - popup
The Queensland grouper lives in the Tropical Reef Habitat. Aquarium of the Pacific

Species In-Depth | Print full entry

At the Aquarium

The Queensland Grouper resides in the Tropical Reef Habitat in the Tropical Pacific Gallery.

Geographic Distribution

Queensland groupers live in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, from the Hawaiian and Pitcairn Islands, southwest to Australia, north to southern Japan, west to the Red Sea, and south to Algoa Bay, South Africa.


This large fish is commonly found in shallow waters in or around coral reefs. It is also found in shipwrecks or caves and estuaries.

Physical Characteristics

Adults are mottled brown to dark grey in color, with pale spots or blotches on their body and numerous black spots on their fins. Juveniles have irregular yellow and black markings. This fish has a robust body with a rounded tail and fleshy lips. Dorsal fin spines of mature individuals increase in size front to back. Mature adults can weigh up to 882 pounds (400 kg). Large individuals are possibly ciguatoxic.


The Queensland grouper grows to at least 8.9 feet (2.7 meters).


Queensland groupers feed on fishes, including batoids and small sharks, spiny lobsters, crustaceans and juvenile sea turtles.


Not much is known about the reproduction of this species. It is believed that spawning takes place in the summer months, with the female releasing her eggs into the water to be fertilized by the male’s release of sperm.


The Queensland grouper is a solitary, slow-moving fish usually found resting motionless on the substrate or hovering midwater.


With its mottled coloration the Queensland grouper is well camouflaged.


This is believed to be a long-lived fish but the actual lifespan is unknown.


This species is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN due to overfishing. Many people consider it delicious. In parts of Asia this fish is highly valued and considered to have medicinal value and to bring good luck.