The Panther grouper -- also known as the Polka Dot, Mouse, Humpback or High-Finned grouper - is a pale greenish-brown fish with a concave dorsal head and widely spaced, round, black spots on its head, body and fins. This species can grow as large as 28 inches long. It is an ambush predator that hides and watches for easy prey to swim or float by. This fish swims solo or in pairs (sometimes 3-6 individuals together.)
Range & Habitat
Tropical Indo-Pacific, Red Sea to South Africa, Southern Japan to Australia and some reports of Hawaii and Florida (most likely due to aquarium releases) This species lives in sheltered sites such as inner shelf reefs, tide pools, mangroves, and silty seagrass beds at depths of 3 to 120 feet.
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
This species is decreasing due to capture for the aquarium trade, commercial fishing, and loss of natural habitat.
In the Wild: krill, shrimp, squid, clams, mussels and fish.
In Human Care: fresh and dried fish.
Fun Facts about the Panther Grouper
In the wild, all Panther groupers are protogynous hermaphrodite (born female and transition to male at around 3 years, with half becoming male at age 8.
This carnivorous fish will eat any fish or crustacean small enough to fit in its mouth, but will ignore larger fish.
In Australia this fish is known as the Barramundi cod.
United States Geological Survey, Non-indigenous aquatic species: https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=966
Fishes of Australia, Barrimundi Cod: