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Gag Grouper

Gag grouper

Mycteroperca microlepis

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Species Type:


Common Name(s):

Gag grouper


Gag groupers can grow to be 58 inches (1.57 meters) long and weight up to 81 pounds (36.7 kilograms).


Gag groupers are carnivorous feeding off of smaller grouper, snappers, grunts, crabs, shrimp and squid.

Range & Habitat:

Widely distributed, the gag grouper can be found anywhere from the coasts of North Carolina down to Brazil. As young, they like to inhabit estuaries and as they grow older they start to migrate into open waters 60-500 feet (18.3- 152.4 meters) deep.


Gag groupers like to gather and socialize along rocky ledges and coral reef ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. This species of grouper breeds Jan. through Mar., spawning multiple times per season. Each time they spawn they can lay up to 1.7 million eggs. That’s a lot of babies!¬†According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, the gag grouper is listed as Vulnerable.