Groper (Grouper)

In Australia, “groper” is used instead of “grouper” for several species, such as the Queensland grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus).

Black Grouper

  • In the Philippines, it is named lapu-lapu in Luzon, while in the Visayas and Mindanao it goes by the name pugapo.
  • In New Zealand, “groper” refers to a type of wreckfish, Polyprion oxygeneios, which goes by the Maori name hapuku.
  • In the Middle East, the fish is known as hammour, and is widely eaten, especially in the Persian Gulf region.
  • The word “grouper” is from the Portuguese name, garoupa. The origin of this name in Portuguese is believed to be from an indigenous South American language.

Groupers are fish of any of a number of genera in the subfamily Epinephelinae of the family Serranidae, in the order Perciformes.

Not all serranids are called groupers; the family also includes the sea basses. The common name grouper is usually given to fish in one of two large genera: Epinephelus and Mycteroperca. In addition, the species classified in the small genera Anyperidon, Cromileptes, Dermatolepis, Gracila, Saloptia, and Triso are also called groupers. Fish in the genus Plectropomus are referred to as coralgroupers. These genera are all classified in the subfamily Epiphelinae. However, some of the hamlets (genus Alphestes), the hinds (genus Cephalopholis), the lyretails (genus Variola) and some other small genera (Gonioplectrus, Niphon, Paranthias) are also in this subfamily, and occasional species in other serranid genera have common names involving the word “grouper”. Nonetheless, the word “grouper” on its own is usually taken as meaning the subfamily Epinephelinae.

Many groupers are important food fish, and some of them are now farmed. Unlike most other fish species which are chilled or frozen, groupers are usually sold live in markets. Many species are popular fish for sea-angling. Some species are small enough to be kept in aquaria, though even the small species are inclined to grow rapidly.

Species List for Reference

  • Bar Rockcod
    • Epinephelus septemfasciatus (Bar Rockcod)
    • Epinephelus ergastularius (Banded Rockcod)
  • Coral Trout
    • Variola louti (Coronation Trout)
    • Plectropomus oligacanthus (Vermicular Cod)
    • Plectropomus laevis (Bluespotted Coral Trout)
    • Plectropomus leopardus (Common Coral Trout)
    • Plectropomus maculatus (Barcheek Coral Trout)
    • Plectropomus areolatus (Passionfruit Coral Trout)
  • Eastern Wirrah
    • Acanthistius ocellatus
  • Goldspotted Rockcod
    • Epinephelus coioides
  • Longfin Perch
    • Caprodon longimanus
  • Yellowspotted Rockcod
    • Epinephelus areolatus


Groupers are commonly reported as a source of Ciguatera fish poisoning.

DNA barcoding of grouper species might help in controlling Ciguatera fish poisoning since fish are easily identified, even from meal remnants, with molecular tools. As other fish, groupers harbour parasites, including digeneans, nematodes, cestodes, monogeneans, isopods, and copepods. A study conducted in New Caledonia has shown that coral reef-associated groupers have about 10 species of parasites per fish species. Species of Pseudorhabdosynochus, monogeneans of the family Diplectanidae are typical of and especially numerous on groupers.