Are Grouper the Same as Cod?

The simple answer is no, cod and grouper are not the same species of fish. They do have some similarities, but they belong to a different family and orders which makes them different.

Rock Cod and basic grouper often get confused, but these are totally different fish that look similar. The term cod is widely and often incorrectly used to describe many fish that don’t fall under the same family.

Get to know grouper

Groupers are also a large umbrella term as there are many different species of grouper fish. Some of them can be eaten, some of them can be adopted, and some of them need to be left alone in the wild. There are huge differences between the different types of groupers of the same species, as some of them are huge, around eight feet while others are small and only around eight inches. In addition to that, there are some groupers that are very unique as they are either extinct or found in very selective places of the world.

Groupers are often found deep within the sea, in warm waters like the Atlantic Ocean. Appearance-wise, most of the groupers are olive or brown in color which makes them uninteresting. However, since there are so many species of groupers, you will find some interesting-looking ones with black, red, yellow, and orange colors. A grouper usually has a very big mouth to consume the prey and they are heavy bodied as well.

Another interesting fact about them is that they are protogynous hermaphrodites, which means that they can change their sex. They are born as females but then transform into males later on in life. One of the most famous grouper types is the goliath grouper which is the largest and the heaviest fish.

Different types of groupers

Here are some types of groupers that are found in the wild. Some of them are rare and are not allowed to be petted while others are good as pets. You can find hundreds of different types of groupers. The term grouper is used to describe a large variety of fish which is why sometimes people confuse codfish with grouper as well.

  • Goliath grouper
  • Giant grouper
  • Areolate grouper
  • Hong Kong grouper
  • Snowy grouper
  • Scamp grouper
  • Gulf grouper
  • Mottled grouper
  • White grouper
  • Slender grouper

Get to know cod

Cod is one of the most famous fish in the United Kingdom and it also has many different types of fish under the term. This is also a larger fish which is about 78 inches in size and is still smaller than the grouper.

Appearance-wise these have a large head and powerful body with three dorsal fins and two tail fins. When it comes to color, their belly is cream or whitish and their backs are yellowish green to green, blue, black, or sometimes red in color. It is very dull overall and does not gather much attention. It is a popular food item due to its mild and flaky taste.

The female codfish is one of the most fertile fish and lays millions of eggs in her lifetime. This means that the fish is available all the time. Usually, you can find this fish in deep waters wherever there is plenty of food. You must have eaten cod once in your life, especially if you live in a European and American country.

Different types of cod

Just like grouper, there are different types of cod as well. However, in appearance, they are not that different from each other as they typically have the same size and body shape. Nevertheless, here are some of the codes you will find in the wild, most of which are eaten.

  • Haddock cod
  • Pollock cod
  • Atlantic cod
  • Pacific cod
  • Blue cod
  • Trout cod
  • Rock cod
  • Saffron cod
  • Sleepy cod
  • Eastern freshwater cod

Difference between grouper and cod

Now, let’s look at some differences between these two kinds of boring fish. Firstly, both of them are edible. Then, when it comes to appearance, their color and build is kind of similar; olive and brownish in color, but otherwise, it is easy to distinguish between the two, considering they are different species.

Genetic difference

The biggest difference is their origins and biological characteristics. The rock cod has the order Gadiformes and family Moridae. Whereas, the grouper belongs to the order Perciformes and the family Serranidae. You can see that both their origins are very different so the confusion between the two fish arrives solely on their physique.

Taste difference

Although not all groupers are edible, the ones that do taste different than cod. The edible groupers taste better as the meat is white, lean, and has a mild flavor. The texture of the grouper is firm, tender, and has a much finer flake compared to the codfish. Moreover, cod is much more widely available than a grouper fish.

Size difference

When it comes to size, the grouper is much bigger than cod. There are also many varieties of size in grouper which is not exactly true for cod. So, if you see a large fish with a huge mouth, it is most probably a grouper. Some cod look like any typical fish you find.

Different functions

Grouper is multi-functional as mentioned above, some types of grouper can be used as food, some as pets, and some cannot be touched. However, when it comes to codfish, most of them are edible and are eaten by people. Usually, only the flanks of the fish are eaten. Some of the most famous codfish to eat are Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, black cod, Lingcod, Pollock, and rock cod.


Now you know that cod and groupers are not the same fish at all. There might be some confusion between them due to appearance similarities, but you should not assume that they belong to the same species.

They are both very simple fish that almost everyone knows about. In conclusion, hopefully, now you will know the difference between these two underrated fish that are eaten by people.

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